A very bitty swarm arrived yesterday. The main bunch was on some flowering brocoli, a clump on each of three wooden beds, the corner of the shed (on the right out of shot), and puddles of them on the floor. I couldn’t put the sheet down because there were so many on the floor. They all went into the shed very nicely. The wind felt as if it was bringing rain and they all disappeared.
The skep was emptied into an empty hive late last night. It looked a fair number of bees. QE underneath for a couple of days, and then we’ll take it off in case it’s a virgin queen.
Not sure why they weren’t all together, it was a bit strange.
Last night I went up to a friend’s house who had a swarm from the parent colony of these bees last year.
It was split the other week after queen cells were spotted. He was planning on bringing the AS bit down to the plot but didn’t. It’s thrown a swarm last night, again one in puddles of bees.
I helped collect it and put a piece of comb near one of the clumps and after a few minutes bought it down to eye level. There was a queen. So we popped that frame into a nuc box and tried collecting some of the other bees up. One puddle had what looked like another queen in it. So I did the comb trick on another lump of bees and again found another queen. A different one to the ones I’d not been able to see.
Does that mean that each puddle of bees in the photo above probably have a queen with them?
I took the queen excluder off the swarm I collected earlier in the week, in the afternoon, but now am wondering whether they all went into the skep or where the little groups of bees disappeared to. We didn’t stand and watch so I’ve no idea.
If there was more than one queen collected then I hope they’ve had time to sort it out in the hive.
I don’t like the idea of multiple queen swarms! I know it means someone’s missed some queen cells, but how many queens leaving at once?