Hah, I was jinxed! We were getting ready to go to our local Heritage festival Saturday to man the BeeKeepers Association booth when my husband heard a strange sound. He had just gone tot he back of the house to put some things in the crawl space and heard the noise, and looked down towards the pond hives were and saw what looked like a mini moving tornado!
He called me to get the swarm kit together and some veils while he watched where it landed; luckily it was near the ground, about a million bees in one long, fat line on a branch that was over 4 feet long! We cut the branch off in pieces and put them into a tote which we covered and carried over to where we had set up a new hive. Dumped the bees in, reduced the entrance to the 4" long slot and went on our way to the fair, crossing our fingers. It was after dark when we got back so we couldn't check the hive until Sunday morning and it was pretty busy with bees going out and, joy of joys, going back in with pollen!
I didn't open it but I checked the hives we thought it might have come out of and both were loaded with at least 20 frames of bees each, guess the population had gotten too big so the queen left. I didn't see any queen in the old one but I will check in another week to see if there are eggs, as she might have been very small if recently hatched.
So I started the year with 3 hives, bought 2 packages and 1 NUC, made 3 splits and with this swarm I now have 10 hives. Nothing like overkill, hahah! I have added another super to all of the new ones and am on my 2nd honey super on the 2 existing hives ( I run mediums so each now has 3 for the bees and 2 for me). I'm hoping to be able to pull off enough honey to sell some this year at the October fair.