Swarm size can be extremely variable

If you have a look at my first blog post you will see a video showing a very large swarm but in this instance we have exactly the opposite situation with one of the smallest or the smallest swarm I have picked up to date.

It is likely that the queen is a new queen and that the hive she has come from has swarmed many times this season so few bees were able to accompany her.

At the time when I picked up this swarm i was unable to locate or see the queen but all the accompanying bees indicated there was definitely a queen amongst them.

After getting the swarm back to the Clarinda Community Garden bee yard I used by powers of Thievery to grab a frame of eggs and honey from one of our other strong hives to give this colony a reason to stay and to speed up the process of increasing their numbers.

As I like to make the bees create there comb from only a starter strip it would take this very small swarm a long time to get established without a little help.

Currently they are housed in a 4 frame Nuk box covered in Shade cloth to protect against another week of hot weather but I have almost completed  the making of a very nice thermally stable box made with 100mm timbers that will be just perfect for this little family of bees.

I waited a few days then went and checked in on the new swarm and finally I spotted the queen and she looked very happy and was going around inspecting the frame and I think she may already be laying eggs.

See if you can spot the queen in the pictures below and watch the video to see just how small this swarm was when I picked them up.

 

 

Taking out the stolen frame given to the super Small swarm from the nuk box with only 4 frames

Looking for the queen

 

Found the queen running around the bottom of the fram trying to avoid being seen

Can you see the Queen

 There she is

Easy to spot now

There she is with her big black spot easy to see

{mp4}small_swarm_pickup_jan_2014{/mp4}

Just so you can see how small this swarm was I have placed my hand next to the bees on the wall