They swarmed! I knew it was coming given all the swarm cells, but I was hoping maybe all the splits I made would prevent the swarming. Well, not for this hive. Check out all the excitement.
After they swarmed, I noticed a few bees hovering over a shrub. Sure enough that’s where they landed! They were visible and reachable rather than way up in a tree top where I definitely wasn’t going to go. I got my shear and clipped my way through thorns and thickets until I cleared enough to have a good look. Here’s the cluster somewhere in there is the queen. Because of her strong pheromones, they didn’t pay much attention to me. I was basically chasing down thousands of bees like a bee bounty hunter
Then I got them in the box. Carefully. VERY carefully, cutting branch by branch.
Finally, I was able to get them in a nuc box. I’m a little nervous though. Take a look at this. Doesn’t it look like they’re all leaving? We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I got the queen in there. If that’s right, then they’ll stick around. If it isn’t, then somewhere in the woods behind my house there are ten to twenty thousand bees hanging out and democractically deciding what will be their permanent home.