I originally posted a version of this story of our friend’s Joan’s bees on my art and nature photography blog.
The tale of Joan’s bees began almost exactly two years ago. Much has happened since. Here I told you about the epic-sized swarm her first hive spun off. After that the hive continued to produce more swarms, and these are the bees that Joan got to replace her swarmed-out hive. Joan’s glorious garden is surely one reason her bees thrive.
Two days ago, one of her hives swarmed again. Rather than staging their journey from the olive tree, where most of Joan’s swarms head first, this one congregated on the stone border around the tree. It was a relief to have a ladder-less swarm capture for once.
Joan tried to entice them into a box with some tasty honey and comb, but although they eagerly ate the honey they weren’t ready to move into the box. George and I brought over more temptations: bee lure and an extra-fancy beekeeper’s box. Okay, that’s just a cardboard banker’s box all duct-taped-up with one side handle left open for the bees to enter.
The bees were interested, but moving slowly because the weather was cooling. We beekeepers were patient, but only up to a point. Joan and George decided to suit up to help the swarm along.
Those lingering in the rocks started marching up to join their sisters.
Until finally the whole swarm was tucked into the box.
And on to their new home. But that’s a story for another day!