Photo sent to me from my neighbour, of my newly-hived bees just before they swarmed again and left me:
What’s more annoying than someone who’s told you your hive has swarmed is someone who’s seen and told you twice. I want to be the first to know. I want to give the impression that everything is in control. Do other beekeepers feel like this? But I have to get over this because it’s actually very useful (so thanks Andrew).
By the time I got home, they were all gone. They hadn’t even started to draw out the foundation into comb.
I spoke to another beekeeper the same day and he said the same thing happened to him last year. Phew! It’s not just me. The beekeeping books say one could put some drawn comb in the hive, but I don’t have any of that yet.
Another trick is to put a queen excluder over the hive floor so the queen can’t get out. Or give them a frame of brood from your other hive, bees are reluctant to leave brood.
Doesn’t the open mesh floor stop bees, including the Queen, getting through?
I was reluctant to put any frames of brood in due to trying to get off to low varroa start.
Sorry didn’t explain that very well. The open mesh floor is usually below the entrance, the bees fly out above it. The queen excluder can be put above the entrance but immediately under the brood box. The workers can then get out but the queen hopefully can’t, although there is some chance that a queen slimmed down to swarm might be able to.
That sounds like excellent advice. I will do that next time.