The first thing she did was start cutting comb from the hive, which was more well-formed (and had therefore been there longer) than we thought. She placed the combs into the bee box my boss owns and began moving the hive over. She allowed me to have a small piece of honeycomb, which I took inside. It was, hands down, the best honey I've ever had in my life. And since it came from the plants and flowers in my garden, it meant far more to me than any store-bought honey could.
As you can see (above), they were well ensconced in the base of the water fountain. They certainly made a pretty hive, didn't they? It was a shame we had to cut it up and move it. But obviously this was not a good long term place for them, for many reasons, the biggest of which is that they had no protection from ants, being so close to the ground. Silly bees.
Eventually she moved a lot of the comb over but was unable to get the queen without more specialized equipment. So we decided to leave it as is and wait until tomorrow.
Then last night at sunset, all the bees flew off, back to their original hive (the one this offshoot hive came from), someplace west of here. I stood next to the bee box as one by one, they all took off to the west and did not come back. I was crushed.
But this morning they returned! I guess overnight sleepovers at other hives are permitted. And now I'm just waiting for the Bee Lady to arrive again and get our queen moved over. I still have no idea if this will be a successful move or not, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
And yes, as you can probably guess, I am now hooked on bees. Look for bees to find a permanent place on our property as soon as it can reasonably be done!