The dreaded Small Hive Beetle has menaced my hives all season. The bottom photograph shows the extent of the damage. After both hive absconded I froze the frames in the freezer, albeit a slow process with limited space in our freezer. This costed my bees with at least 4 boxes of honey. I hope to put these back in hives that I caught.

One of my hives settled in a new bee box I set in another area of my yard. I used Swarm Commander to lure them there. Swarm Commander has proven over and over a great tool in catching a new swarm.

But the photos of this huge swarm from my strongest hive still hasn’t come down or settled anywhere in over one week. Yes 8 nights, including a couple light rains, and it’s still there. I’m pretty sure it’s growing. I’d bet it’s building comb, right out in the open. 70’ above ground in an oak tree.

I first noticed this swarm Monday evening as I came out to grill. I heard that sound that first makes one think it’s a helicopter, but a bee keeper quickly realizes is a mass of bees flying in a frenzy. By the end of my grilling it made a sizeable clump on the tree. Approximately 1 ½ feet long.

Try as I may, it won’t come down. Well, as long as it doesn’t swarm into a neighbor’s yard and get everyone riled up, I’m fine with it finding a home. It’s a strong hive if it comes your way. Was extremely busy all spring and summer.

Now to find a solution to kill the SHB larvae in the ground. One dealer was out of Star Gard, which I planned to drench the ground around the old hive location.

[tags: bee swarm Winston-salem, small hive beetle]