The swarm had left, but the excitement wasn't over!
At 1:30 the next day we discovered a few stragglers in the same spot as the swarm had been the day before.
By 4:30 the number of bees in the area had dwindled. If I was to hold them in my hand, the group wouldn't be any larger than a tennis ball... and even that may be an exaggeration. It was a very small group.
Here's a close-up. I held the camera about 18-24 inches away from the bees, and had it on zoom, so at first it may not seem like much of a difference.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say there are less than twenty of them in the picture.
I know enough to know that I know very little about bees, so I called Aurelio Paez in Anthony, NM. He's a bee keeper that will remove swarms from people's yards, and he was glad to answer all of my questions about bee behavior.
I asked him whether or not it was safe to assume that this was just a bunch of scouts converging on the spot where the rest of the colony had been, before continuing on their way. I was relieved when he said that was correct. Indeed, he doubted that we would even see any more the next day.
I was relieved. I love bees. Love them. I worry when they're so close to young children that don't understand them, however, so I'm glad the swarm is continuing its journey, rather than taking up residence in my sister's backyard!