A week after relocating a hive of honey bees, Cedar Park Parks and Recreation Specialist Irma Wall said the hive is thriving.
As volunteer beekeepers, Wall and her daughter Emma help care for the beehive installations in the community gardens at Elizabeth Milburn and Veterans Memorial parks. The hives were installed last summer for the bees to help pollinate the plants in the gardens.
On May 12, Wall was called out to Milburn Park to relocate a large swarm of bees.
“I was able to save a beautiful honeybee swarm that had landed on a branch of a huge sunflower,” Wall said. “The honeybees were plentiful and weighty enough to break the branch and leave it dangling.”
Wall took handfuls of bees and placed them into a small, five-frame hive called a nuc hive. The goal was to move the queen into the new hive so that the others bees would start to develop a new hive.
“Confident I had placed the queen into the nuc, I closed it up and played the waiting game,” Wall said.
Later that night, Wall returned and observed that all of the honeybees had transitioned into the nuc. She sealed the nuc up and relocated the new wild hive to another location.
Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. Swarming usually within a two- or three-week period during the spring, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the bees’ producing season.
A swarm of bees sometimes frightens people, though the bees are usually not aggressive at this stage of their life cycle. This does not mean that bees from a swarm will not attack if they perceive a threat; however, most bees only attack in response to intrusions against their colony.