I had a hive swarm yesterday (What is that roaring sound? Oh.)
They went up in a big pine tree, and while they landed on a nice 3″ branch that could be sawed off, they were 40’+ up, and very much out of my reach this time.
I quickly prepared a bait box (inviting new home, move in ready), with that new hive smell (lemongrass, honey and old comb). They ignored it. I prepared a second one, too, in another location.
Then they left. I heard them leaving and tried to follow them, but they lost me. They can fly.
I hope they found a nice place. I won’t be able to help them survive the winter now, but if they do, perhaps the next split will return. Apartment living with food included maybe not so bad.
I’m out here restoring the wild bee populations. This was a huge swarm, too, twice the size of last year’s. I took pictures but they didn’t save, unfortunately (memory card error?), so I’ll have to rely on the mental picture. It’s actually the same split that swarmed last year and I collected (Pansy hive), that just split again. And left. They clearly lean to swarminess.
I’m disappointed to lose a whole hive’s worth of bees like that, but there was nothing more I could do. I got the bait box out promptly, and I didn’t have a chance to have gotten them out of the tree, even if I had made the attempt, because they left so fast. In less than an hour, they departed, headed northeast into the woods. It’s like they’d decided on the new place already and just paused on the pine to regroup. Or else the scouts worked quick, which means their new location is close, and there’s a possibility I will find them in the woods. I’m not betting on that.
You catch some you lose some.