If a beehive gets too crowded, some of the bees decide to leave with the queen and start a new hive. The half of the bees left in the original hive make a new queen and continue life as usual. The half that swarm fly to a branch or something and ball up together around the queen. They send out scouts to find a place to begin a new hive. Then the group set up housekeeping in the best location available.
Clark is on the swam list which means when someone sees a swarm hanging out on a branch they call the bee club who in turn contact people on the swarm list to go get the bees. This is a great way to get a free hive of bees. The bee keeper simply shakes the bees off the branch into a hive box, closes up the box and takes the bees home.
Sometimes people don’t notice a swarm until it has established a new hive. In the wall of your house or shed for example. We’ve encountered this situation twice this summer/fall. The first case was a hive in the back of a shed. We removed a sheet of plywood to expose the hive.
Behind the comb you see here are three more layers of honey comb. We cut it into rectangles that fit in a frame and put the whole thing into a new hive box. We were able to salvage the queen, and most of the eggs, larva, honey, and bees. Yeah! A new hive.