I got the call from 911 dispatch looking for a beekeeper who would remove this swarm from a mailbox. Even though it was almost bedtime, I loaded up the family and headed out. Every time I go on a swarm call I have my fingers crossed for a 10 pound monster swarm! This one was obviously not it, instead of a monster I found a tadpole.
It was an easy catch, even though we got there after dark. My 10yo even got brave enough to touch a bee with her bare hands. (Since there was no ladder involved my husband stayed safely in the truck!) I held the box under them and gently brushed them into it. They settled right in!
The most adventurous pat of this swarm catch was getting into one of my regular hives after dark to steal a frame of brood. They really, really don’t like that! They also don’t fly much at night, so I had a growing blob of angry bees climbing up my arm as I’m trying to grab a frame. They must also develop Velcro feet after bedtime, because I had to pick them off one by one before I could go in the house!
I think this must have been an after swarm with a virgin queen, because a week after install I still am not seeing eggs, but they declined to make a queen cell with the frame of eggs and brood I gave them. If there are still no eggs when my grafted queen cells are ready I will pop one of those in there, along with a frame of bees to boost population. They are working hard at drawing comb and storing nectar and pollen though, so I’m giving them a chance.