Bubble hive swarms.
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A friend had a tinted plastic bubble laying around - i really don't know what it was originally from (nor what the marks on it are).

Hanger I thought that the near catenary shape would enable me to convert it - with the aid of an old macrame hanger - into a hanging transparent (tinted) hemispherical top-bar observation hive.
Closer"A picture paints a thousand words" - i usually just refer to it as my Bubble hive.
These pictures were taken in the backyard of my shared rental accommodation in Christchurch, 300-odd km from Mt Elliot
OpenDespite being tinted and mostly shaded, the transparent hive gets very warm in the sun, and bee numbers built up very quickly in a sunny early spring.
ThroughAlthough some of the original marks wouldn't clean off (i stopped trying when i realised my cleaning efforts were hazing the plastic) in most places it is easy to see the bees through the bubble.
Thru CloseIn this close-up of the above photo through the bubble (autofocus camera even) it is easy to see the hairs on the eyes of these young bees. The ocelli (3 simple eyes, arranged in a triangle) are easily visible on the bee at bottom left.

On the day of the spring equinox 2002, after an early prolonged spell of warm fine weather, i returned to find the bubble almost empty of bees, making the comb they had recently drawn visible (spot the queen cells).
Empty - far Empty - end on Empty - below, Queen cells! 
not far away...It didn't take long to figure out what had happened to the others...
ChairThe hive had just about filled the bubble to capacity so they swarmed, the queen and most of the workers departing to set up a new nest elsewhere. The nearby lawnchair provided a staging post from which to look for a suitable new nest site.
Chair beardNot bad for such a small bubble! Recently swarmed bees are usually quiet and tame, being filled to capacity with honey, and having no nest to protect. The longer it takes them to find suitable lodgings, the less this good temper can be relied on...
BoxedAll of my normal hives (and beekeeping gear) are kept some distance away, so in the meantime i put them in a cardboard box. If only they knew those drums contained over 1/2 ton of honey!
pollenA couple of days later and the bees are coming and going in good numbers. Bees bringing pollen in on their legs are a pretty good indication that they have drawn comb and started brood rearing, so it is likely that they have decided to stay put.
Old and NewThe bubble still has some bees, and will be raising a new queen from eggs laid before the swarm left.
A few days after swarming, there are now two hives busily flying in the early spring sunshine.
BadAssBees Index

Cursor following bees swiped from Jeff Davies site: Beekeeping the Natural Way using Oils and Herbs

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Since 2/10/2