What Are These Bees Doing??

 I found these bees on a log, looks like a tiny after swarm at Bluebird Gardens Bee Garden!

I found these bees on a log, looks like a tiny after swarm at Bluebird Gardens Bee Garden!

What Are These Bees Doing?

"What are these bees doing" represents one of the largest category of questions we get at our local monthly bee club meetings Sometimes the behavior is easy to diagnose; then, especially without a visual or photo, there's no telling so the discussion tends to be a series of ideas shared. New beekeepers get completely confused, more experienced beekeepers get to indulge in flights of fancy. Of fancy bees in flight! 

My Mystery Bees

I was feeding sugar water to my three nucleus boxes one morning. Nucleus boxes have 5 frames, half the size of a regular hive box and are used to get colonies started.

I was encouraging them to draw out wax so they could get a jump start on the season when I found the little group of bees in the picture hanging out on an old limb on the ground. I didn't see a queen but it sure looked like a little "after swarm" so I quickly pulled out another empty nuc and placed it next to the limb.

Within minutes, the bees were marching into the nuc box and settling on the comb-drawn frames.

I never did see a queen so a week or so later, I combined them with another established colony not knowing why they were on the log in the first place. It's one of the delights, and challenges, of beekeeping so keep asking those questions and sharing your answers. It's how we all become better beekeepers!

Charlotte