Our First Swarm

Last fall, I documented the process of building a top bar hive from scratch. Since then, I’ve been waiting to fill the hive with bees. My friend Chris (check out his blog) helped me out with this problem by telling me about a swarm in our area. He even drove me to the swarm and helped me nab them.

We originally were told the swarm was about 8 feet high. But when we arrived to the house, they bees had moved around the corner of the house, and they were now about 12 feet high or so. They were a little tougher to reach, but we managed with the ladder we were given.

Below is a video of me climbing up and brushing the bees into a box. While I was up there, I noticed many of the bees had already moved into a small opening in the faucet beneath the roof. This posed a problem for us. If the bees already started to make a home in the faucet, there is a good chance the queen was already inside. If the scout bees were simply checking the faucet out as a potential home, then the queen might have still been in the swarm. All that to say, I’m not 100% sure I got the queen. I am optimistic. I’ll do an inspection in the coming weeks and hopefully see her.

Here are two photos of the bees’ new home, which is now part of my two hive apiary. I’m excited to finally have bees in there. I’ll post an update on the new colony in the coming weeks.

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