Jeff, our beekeeper, brought up a new hive a couple months ago from Carmel Valley. They were packed into this bird house, and he said they would probably swarm soon to a new home, either to one of our empty hive boxes nearby, or elsewhere.
They were a gentle bunch, so he opened the hive door without a full suit on.
April 7 was an especially warm day, and we walked down to the bee grounds with some friends after work. The hives were very active, and an enormous cloud of bees was flying around above our heads. They were forming a cluster around a limb in the oak above the hives.
When we called Jeff to let him know, he said he'd heard of two other swarms that day.
A few hours later they had left and were nowhere to be found. A couple of days later Andrew was working outside, and saw the swarm cloud fly over and disappear up the hill.
Hopefully they found a new home near the Reserve to help pollinate the burned area. They have certainly helped here, as evidenced by the blossoms in this heritage apple tree just uphill from the hives. In past years the fruit trees have not produced many blossoms, so this is a vast improvement.