We’ve seen some strange sights in bee-land this winter: two queens laying eggs on the same frame, drones that over-wintered with the hive instead of being evicted in the fall, and now a swarm in January – weeks ahead of schedule. But this may not be a true swarm. I suspect that these bees were dislodged from their home for some reason (might have to do with our recent 3 inch rain) and thought they could move into our gentle teaching hive next to the honey house. The teaching hive bees are gentle toward us but were not to these strangers – stinging them to drive them away. If they get into the hive, they could kill my good queen and I would lose all of those gentle genetics in a few short weeks, especially if the swarm queen were Africanized. To help my bees I pulled the suspect queen out of the swarm.
Here’s a shot of the swarm queen before we bid her a fond farewell.