I had planned a simple day in the apiary today. All I planned to do was put 5 queens cells in nucs that had already been stocked with bees. Shouldn't take more the a 1/2 hour I thought.
Arriving in the apiary to pick up the queen cells I heard that distinctive roar of a swarm. Swarms are supposed to occur in May and June; not the hot dog days of August. But there it was 30 feet up in a wind break tree Not one to let a $100 bill slip through my fingers I quickly went and fetched the chain saw. I was able to drop the tree rather gently. After clearing away the branches I located the swarm and they started marching into the empty hive I provided. But they didn't settle in immediately. A large group continued to hang out at the entrance; so I started a search for the queen. About 5 feet away I luckily spied a small cluster of bees on a leaf. There she was; a small virgin queen being attended by about 5 bees. After two tries I captured this flighty queen and laid her at the hive entrance. She happily scurried in and was soon followed by the large group at the entrance. Success!
I thought I better start feeding them so they can get through the winter. So I was walking through the apiary looking for a hive top feeder, but was interrupted again. About 100 feet away there at my feet was another swarm. Just a mass of bees, 3 feet in diameter, on the grass. Slid another empty hive next to the swarm and they too started marching in. Checked a half hour later and quickly found the queen in her new home.
Both hives now have a hive top feeder with sugar water to help them settle in. I guess some days you just get lucky. Didn't get stung either! Tomorrow I start pulling honey supers. I suspect I won't get off sting free then!