This has been quite the week. Yesterday, I watched as the fourth swarm left it’s home (hive 3), and eventually gathered on a cedar tree branch. These videos tell the story. After losing the two swarms on Monday, I didn’t waste any time in collecting this bunch.
I only observed two of the four swarms leaving the hives, so I can’t be sure where the other two come from, but I only had four hives and I don’t think one of them has swarmed yet. That would mean that at least one of these was an ‘after swarm’ and as such will have a virgin queen. This whole concept doesn’t make much sense to be, but Liz is certainly a believer as she experienced four or five after swarms out of her observation hive last season. I should note that two of my hives came from that ‘swarm stock’ of 2015. In fact, this swarm from hive 3 is one of those, albeit a second or third generation, So it could very well be that this is a second swarm from hive 3.