August 9, 2014, 10:34 am…Waggle dancing takes place.
After reading Honeybee Democracy, by Thomas Seeley, I sort of knew what to expect on swarm behavior. The scouts would each go out and report back to the swarm. They would indicate the direction of a possible future hive location by doing a waggle dance in relation to the sun. Straight up meant “in the direction of the sun,” or angled off from straight up meant that angle direction from the sun. If the scout bee thinks she’s got a real good location, she will dance more emphatically. Other scout bees will look the location over, actually measuring the sides, and judging if it’s a good location. They will report back to the swarm. This can take several days. This bee is waggling just a bit. I wouldn’t call it a real hard sell at this point.
11:15 am…I had been seeing some scout bees around Bee Beard log hive. More now.
Since it got robbed out last month, after several weeks in decline, I made the decision to take Bee Beard out of circulation, sort of retire it, let it rest up til March whereupon, I could introduce a new swarm to it. I was in the process of dismantling it, when this August swarm took place. I had to work like a mad man. My printing deadlines were just going to have to wait. I hope my customers understand. (Do I have any left?)
I scorched out the inside of the hive, shortened up the quilt box so it fit looser, and melted small bits of comb to the five top bars. I added new leaves and sawdust to the bottom cavity and new sawdust to the quilt box. This time I drove a fence post into the ground and fastened it to the log hive to keep the winter winds from toppling it.
August 8, 2014…fence post fastened to Bee Beard log hive.
As a natural beekeeper, I was hoping maybe, just maybe, the swarm would choose Bee Beard for their new place. I mean how much more natural is that?
At 70F (20C) it’s a good day for a swarm.
2:20 pm…As luck would have it, (and I do mean luck) the swarm broke up to relocate to Bee Beard. In the video you can feel the power of thousands of bees swirling around. I’m afraid I got a little emotional in talking about it.
2:30 pm…Bee Beard is covered in bees. In the video you can see the bees crawling upward and circling the mouth before entering.
I guess you could say we were ecstatic. We just stood there in the middle of all that bee energy and talked about it what we were witnessing.
August 10, 2014…The next day it was back to business with time out for reconnaissance flights.
August 10, 2014…the day after the swarm, shows the bees on the observation window. They’ve got to build their own comb so they are hanging out here for a while.
Bee Beard’s back story.
The swarm’s back story.