Queen Talk, Swarms and Miracles

On May 12th 2015 a Swarm has come to live with us and we have named Her Sunny Girl.
sunny girl in sunhivesunny girl in new home

Sunny Girl is living in a Top Bar Hive doing everything that needs to be done Herself such as Comb Building.  To follow this Colony even on a distance and not seeing them Jany Bee has built two mini microphones in the Hive so we can hear the Sound of the Bees constantly while being in the house.

jan installing microphoneJan inside with sound equipment

 It is veSunny Girlry nice to hear the Bees coming home at the end of afternoon or hear them in front of the Hive about Noon.  We can hear them buzz in the Hive and sometimes, during the night, there is a special Sound we can’t name. It is a sort of smacking Sound.  Information from another blind Beekeeper learns that this might be the sound of young Bees sealing Comb.


Sunny girl is a very friendly loving Hive. When we are around they even do not come to us but just keep doing what they’re doing and their Sound continues being calm and quiet.  When Bees get upset one can hear the Sound going up, higher Pitch and getting louder. Not for Sunny Girl. She is very quiet.

The Hive is thriving and doing well. We can hear the Hive being full, getting huge. And we get the feeling Swarming might be near. One gets that restless feeling, maybe as restless as the Bees themselves?

It is Thursday July 9th that I hear the Sound for the first time, only once or twice in the evening but immediately recognized as a Quacking Queen.

On Friday July 10th the Quacking is heard more frequently and now it turns out to be the Quacking of two Queens, two different Voices, one lower than the other. There is Quacking only, no Piping at all.



From Saturday July 11th Queen Talk can be heard during the whole day and night with big pauses in between.

At Noon Sunday July 12th one of the Queens starts Piping. https://wakan.nl/beehome/piping.mp3  There is Queen Talk with long pauses of silence in between. Going along we can hear two Quacking Queens and one Piping.  The Piping One is moving through the Hive. Her Sound can be heard closer or further away. The Quacking Sound comes from one and the same direction/place.

From Tuesday evening July 14th the Quacking and Piping is constantly there. No pauses anymore.  Also the speed of the Sound itself goes up. And now it sounds like the Piping Queen is running through the Hive.

On Wednesday July 15th the Piping is heard with a double tone. The Hive is more “active” now, more Sounds of buzzing Bees.  There seems to be huge excitement. One can hear something very particular is about to happen.

On Thursday July 16th about 11AM a Swarm is leaving Sunny Girl Hive. Jany Bee is at home and can hear the Sound rising, becoming more intense and louder. The Audio Level Indicator is rising indicating sound is twice as loud as normal. This can’t be misunderstood. This absolutely is a Swarm.

Jan goes outside and the Swarm sounds like a cloud of Bees, hanging in a tree in our garden close to the Hive, about 10 m South.  Spreading his arms Jany Bee can tell the Swarm is as large as that.  He is calling someone for assistance, goes walking the dog to find out when coming back that the Swarm is gone.

Tinah Bee comes home between 1PM and 1:30PM. Also Elja, the woman who will assist in capturing the Swarm arrives at that time.  Stepping out of the door into the garden I, Tinah, can hear the Swarm and am able to indicate where they are, outside our garden. As soon as I start walking in the garden to listen more carefully I can’t tell from which direction the Sound is coming. It sounds like they are everywhere, all around.

Going back to the place where I heard them first I again am able to hear the direction their Sound is coming from.  We walk towards the spot and they are 20 m North from the first place they chose after leaving the Hive which means that they are still close to the Hive.
There they are, three small Swarms hanging in a tree.

3 swarms in tree with 2 in sun

Reaching up our hands we can touch them. Aah, that warmth that meets you when you reach out to them. They definitely are a Ball of Love radiating Warmth and Light.

Tinah with hand reaching up below swarm smilingjan with basket and tree

Jan and Elja are shaking the Swarms from the Branch into the Basket, the Basket which exactly fits under all 3 Swarms which might suggest that, in fact, we have one Swarm here.
While the Basket is on the ground Bees start flying back to the Swarm Site.

Jan with basket on the ground

We cover the Basket with a cloth and wait. Then go home to get some things and after coming back only a few Bees are still in the tree. No Bees gone back to the Basket. We bring them home and they will stay in the Basket until the evening of the next day, Friday July 17th.

Favorite close up of Tinah holding basket on doorway smiling with Jan looking on smiling

That night Jan is preparing a Hive for this new Beeing and Friday July 17th The Golden Tears of Ra are moving into their new Home.

Jan with frames in hiveJan putting cover on hiveJan putting on strap of hive showing Sunny Girl and Faery Home in the backgroundUp close of hive entrance showing bees sending out pheremone

On Saturday July 18th bringing food to support them Jan discovers they are gone, absconded. The Hive is empty. No Bees coming out after lifting the Lid and/or Frames.

In Sunny Girl we have heard the Queen piping very softly and only a few times a day up until Sunday night July 19th.

Tuesday July 21st Bees are seen in front of the colored Hive. Are this Robbers? Guards? Scouts?
Jan inspects the drawer which is under the screen bottom of the Hive and is feeling “things”..

What does this mean?
drawer showing activity
Signs of activity?  What is going on here?
Is there someone Home? Let’s find out and knock on the Door:
Miracles Do Happen

A Big Thank You to Melissa Bee for her assistance in the Layout of this Blog and
Debra Roberts for the Hot Line Connection during this Swarming Adventure.

We also Give Thanks to Smart Beeing for sponsoring the Top Bar Hives and bringing Sunny Girl, and also Faerie Home, into our lives.

Photographer Ferry Schutzelaars (Sunny Girl)
Photographer Elja van der Have (Swarm Adventure)




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