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Damocles

Capturing a Swarm of Bees...

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Well, today I get a call from my wife at work, she tells me that the bees swarmed. This after I checked and found no signs of swarming about two weeks ago. Of course, at first I didn't believe her, such a young hive? Almost unheard of!

Well, you can see it for yourself!



Well, I took off work for two hours, returned home to capture my first swarm. I have a mostly finished hive at home and I'm almost ready to capture a new swarm. Almost.

So I get home, put on the protective equipment and head on out. My wife got out the almost finished hive (It isn't painted yet, and I haven't made a roof to cover the bars. It can't be a permanent home as unprotected wood doesn't last long in our weather.) and put it nearby the swarm and had gotten out the step ladder. Unfortunately the hive was too large to set on the step ladder...

Planning... Planning... (I'm going to create a new hive, smaller, one that fits on the ladder and is easier to carry... One just to capture swarms...)

Anyway, I had to improvise. I got our kids' plastic picnic table and put it under the hive. Took out all the bars... Reached up and gave the branch a shake.... about half the bees landed in the hive, but not the queen, so they all went airborne until they settled again on the branch with the queen.

I decided reading about this might help. So I read up and find out that spraying the swarm with a bit of sugar syrup first keeps them a bit calmer and less airborne. So, I get the spray bottle and put the syrup in and spray down the swarm...

I reach up...



And give it a shake again...

And about 2/3 of the bees drop into the hive this time...



And the queen.

I was able to see some of the scouts standing at the openings of the new hive and fanning pheromones that say "this way to home", so I was able to tell the queen was there, plus very few bees that went into the hive were going airborne...

So I gave it one last shake.



(It didn't really work that well... most of those didn't go into the hive, I had a bee cloud again).

Then put the bars back on top of the hive.



(exciting picture of my back...)

And the bees settled into their new hive nicely!

I now have TWO hives on my property!

Sweet. Free bees.

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Apiculture

Comments

  1. Whomever's Avatar
    Killer Bees?
  2. charver's Avatar
    Mmmmm....candied bees.

    Thems is good eatin'.
  3. Damocles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Whomever
    Killer Bees?
    Not likely. Those don't produce enough honey to survive our winters.
  4. Damocles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by charver
    Mmmmm....candied bees.

    Thems is good eatin'.
    Sometimes the stinger gets stuck between your teeth.
  5. Blissful Wizard's Avatar
    can you flash some gang signs with the bee suit on? i think that'd be rad.
  6. Damocles's Avatar
    They are photographs, not live. Maybe next time, Grind.
  7. Annie's Avatar
    Your 5 year old takes much better pics than myself. I'm so excited for you! Honey, honey, honey!
  8. Damocles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Annie
    Your 5 year old takes much better pics than myself. I'm so excited for you! Honey, honey, honey!
    I wish she did... I had to go through myriad photos to get the ones I used. There were about 50 photos of my butt, she kept saying, "I'm taking a picture of beekeeper butt!"

    She took some of the bees flying through the air, but all those turned out to be was pictures of blurry dots and sky...

    She did great though, and she's fearless. She makes me proud.
  9. Annie's Avatar
    She has your sense of humor! Good thing!
  10. Cheatos's Avatar
    [Hi everyone, I'm a Newbie. I just wanted to see what KIND of politics was on this site. -Later!QUOTE][/QUOTE]