Found Them

A little over two months after one of our beehives swarmed, we found our swarm.  Actually, Gabe is the one who found them.  He came inside from playing in the backyard and excitedly told Jonny, “I found the bees!”

Evidently the bees moved from the original tree they landed in, to one maybe fifty feet away–so very close.  They must have been concealed by leaves for us to have missed them.  And those silly bees, they decided to just start drawing out comb right there on the high branch they landed on.  So basically, they were doomed.  I suspect they would have died the first cold night that comes our way.  They may still die.  It was an ordeal for Jonny to get them out of the tree (in the drizzle and rain no less–it has been raining here for a week or so) and we don’t yet know if we have the queen.  Honestly, it would be better if we don’t because then we will just carefully combine all these bees with the ones in the original colony that they left.  If we do have a queen, we should squish her and recombine as well, but Jonny and I probably aren’t queen squishers.  So Jonny is coming up with all kinds of plans to try and overwinter this weak little colony that has basically nothing.  We’ll see.


  1. If you have the queen, couldn’t you just sugar feed all winter? And insulate them well so they don’t have to work too hard to keep warm. They definitely don’t have enough stores to make it through on their own. I hate the thought of squishing a queen that is young and strong and may have even been out on a proper mating flight. However, the colony definitely won’t survive the winter on its own, so squishing her and recombining might be your best option if you really want to save all those bees. Such a tough decision. I had to squish a queen from one of our colonies earlier this year. Nasty business. My husband thought I should be the one to do it rather than him since I’m apparently the top queen in the bee yard – lol.

    • This queen is actually the original one from the colony, and we were so sad to see her leave with the swarm because she is a good one. We aren’t going to squish her (we confirmed that she is indeed alive and well with the colony.) We are planning to insulate well and feed–just trying to sort out the details now….

  2. Michaeleen says:

    Don’t want to squish? Can you “donate” her to another bee keeper? Or to the society? Or friend/neighbor who wants to start a hive??? I know nothing about keeping bees, just wanted to share some ideas. God Bless you all, and your bees!

  3. Yay! You found your bees! I hope it works out. I’m not a queen squisher either. But I hope they survive and you guys finally get a solid hive that doesn’t fly away!

  4. Fabulous! All my fingers crossed for your bees!

  5. Amazing and fascinating. !!!!!

  6. I wouldn’t be a queen squisher either.

  7. Amazing!!!

  8. Amazing and so strikingly beautiful. The colour and variation in the comb is like a work of art!

  9. So glad you found the bees. I will be praying that they will make it through the winter. We had some honeybees swarm to some cardboard on our compost bin. I called our local beekeeper association and within 45 min, a beekeeper was at our house, giving “our” bees a new home in a hive. Such a great adventure for us city dwellers. Just the wonder of their busy winged orange bodies.

  10. So glad you found them! I find this fascinating. Hope your hive can survive!

  11. Thank you for sharing your bee adventures! It is so exciting to read and see the photos. I hope you are well. You have settled on my heart to be praying for you and the upcoming arrival of your newest little one. Be blessed.

  12. I’m totally freaked out by your husband being so far up! I’d probably be covering my eyes and hyperventilating if my husband was up there!

    My sister is a beekeeper, and the whole process is so fascinating to me.

  13. Amazing. Utterly. Everyday I watch for a swarm. We’re feeding sugar like crazy since it was a crappy nectar year. Hoping for the best – for your sweet friends and mine!

  14. I can’t believe you found them. Must have made for a fun day to watch the bee hive decamping process. I wouldn’t have been happy to be in the rain because my hair would frizz but maybe for bee watching I would !!

  15. Oh, I do hope they make it!

  16. What is that last picture of? I keep looking at it and thinking it looks like a tick!

  17. That is great that you found the bees. I hope they survive. I don’t think I’d “bee” 🙂 a queen squisher either. Wishing you lots of honey this spring. Heather

  18. so glad you found them! We still pray for the bees and will continue…

  19. I so badly want bees, but I’m allergic to every flying, stinging insect. I love following your adventures with your hives. So happy you found them – hoping with you that they survive the Winter!

  20. I want to get bees so badly! I love following your family’s adventure with them. I hope they make it through the winter! I’m not sure I could squash the queen either.

  21. Oh, my goodness! What a saga! I’m so glad that he found them, but yes it sounds like they have a challenge ahead of them for sure.

    I’m probably not a queen bee squisher either, so I understand where you’re coming from with that, for sure.

    Good luck, bees!

  22. OMG…we just had the same thing happen to us. One of our swarms that we thought were gone for good, we found right beside our garden with comb drawn out and honey dripping from it (it was a hot day two weeks ago when we found them). My DH captured them and gently tied their made comb into empty frames with wire. They have seemed very happy in their new home. We are up to eight hives now when we started with three coming out of last winter. All five of the new hives are swarms from our original three.

    I took many pictures but I don’t have a blog to share them.

    I love honey bees, SO FASCINATING!

  23. Amanda @ Life and Times says:

    All those JP the Beekeeper videos came in handy! Perfect rubber banding form! Have you considered putting up swarm catcher boxes? I get so jealous of JP and their balmy winters, all he has to do is feed them a bit and they soldier on.

  24. After the blizzard we had last week in SD (4 feet of snow in 24 hours), we’ve been spending a lot of time up on ladders trimming our broken trees. So, seeing Jonny up on that ladder makes me think he is a rock star for being up so high! Great job!

  25. Good luck little bees!

  26. I’m glad you found your bees and I hope they survive the winter!

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