A humungous swarm in winter

(Bees must have thought it was spring!)

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After three 80+ degree days in the third week of February, some bees must have decided it was time to do the spring thing - SWARM!  On the afternoon of February 24, we found his huge prime swarm hanging in our camelia bush.

Early bee swarm
They were so heavy, they came near to breaking down the bush! On the surface of the swarm, one could see the returning scouts dancing to announce that they had found a possible home. They dance so hard, it's amazing that they don't throw something out of joint! Check out this video:

Normally I can get very high on the sight of dancing bees. This usually takes place inside the beehives, when returning scouts are using the dance language to tell other workers where nectar can be found. But in the case of a swarm, it could mean that a site somewhere has already been found, and the bees are being enticed to fly to a new home in a hollow tree off in the woods. But this swarm is much too valuable to lose to the woods! So I must hurry.

We quickly got a six-frame nuc box (adding a frame of honey from one of our hives) and set it up to entice our swarm into a new home. "Please, please, march into this home, rather than the hollow tree in the woods that was enticing the scouts!"      Next page.
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