We are rookies at bee keeping, so we were super grateful for our neighbor Rick whose swarm this was to come and help us load the swarm into our hive. With all the bees flying around and such it was difficult for us to really see what was going on. As it turned out, in the swarm Rick brought us there were actually two Queens. The picture above is of an un-mated queen ( the big ole bee on the top ) and one of her attendants ( small bee in corner ). She needed her own hive so we called up father in law Michael and he came down to pick her up.
Meanwhile, Rick and Husband placed the box with our swarm on top of our top bar hive. This was a new experience for both Rick and ourselves. We had never done this process at all and Rick had never worked with a top bar style hive. Nonetheless it was pretty strait forward. They slid the bottom of the box out and then lifted up the box to see how many of the bees had fallen into the hive.
Then, seeing a bunch of bees still on the top of the box, Rick set it down again and gave it a good WHACK and the rest of the bees fell into the hive. Then he gently brushed the last few stragglers into the hive and we all backed away to watch the results.
Rick sprayed the bees with a sugar water mixture to keep them happy and distracted by cleaning themselves off and eating the sugar water and put a couple of drops of lemongrass oil in to the hive to calm the bees and freshen up the place. We also put a bowl of sugar water near the hive so that the bees would have something to eat while they spend the next couple of days situating themselves and starting to build more comb.
Now, a couple of days later the bees are busy doing their thing. We have looked in on them a couple of times and they are building comb like crazy! We are so lucky to have met our neighbor Rick and we gave him a dozen fresh eggs and a bunch of homebrew to sample. Having the bees makes our garden seem complete again. Looking at the empty hive was a bit sad and to see it bursting with activity is amazing and somehow fullfiling.