On Thursday evening, I arrived home from work, did a visual check of the bees, and then the next door neighbor calmly asked me if my bees were okay. I did another quick check of the bees but then realized the problem when the neighbor’s son pointed up in their tree–a basketball-sized swarm was hanging off of a branch. I quickly gathered my equipment and climbed in the tree while they helped hold the ladder. Using a bee brush and a cardboard box, I was able to sweep most of the bees off the limb and shake them in a hive. I had to do one more sweep to ensure I had the queen, and when I added to the second group to the hive and covered it, the bees started marching in the front door–it was a fun and beautiful sight to witness as the bees flew in circles from the tree to the hive, creating a cloud of workers.
Though a late summer swarm, especially one in the neighbor’s yard, is not ideal, I was able to combine them with Hive 2, which was struggling because I had to replace their lost queen about a month ago. The hive is now strong and building more stores for the winter.