Usually when bees swarm they go unnoticed, finding a new home in a cozy hollow of a tree, or house wall, or even plywood forms used for construction. Such was the case for this young colony, which was discovered at a bridge construction site in the Twin Cities today. I had quite a job on my hands to carefully remove the wild bees and their comb, relocating them temporarily into a screened box. After a brief stay at my home, I handed off the box of bees to some new friends at Beez Kneez, who operate a handful of hives in Minneapolis and are now offering beekeeping services at their Honey House in the Seward neighborhood!
Let's recap the season thus far:
1. Our first hive's queen failed and the colony has shown a slow start.
2. Our second hive, once moved to the farm, swarmed to create a fourth.
3. Our third hive recently re-queened itself after its original queen was injured and died in mid-May.
4. Our fourth (swarm) hive had a late start, but has been healthy and active.
We have now confirmed that our second hive's queen, shortly after "winning" the battle for control of the strong farm hive, has gone missing. The colony's fate rests with a single queen cup. The 6-week lull in brood production will hurt the colony at the worst possible time, as the peak nectar flow comes to a close.