Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Swarm Call!!

As I was driving home on 5/22 I got a call on my cell phone: "Hi, my name is so-and-so, and I've got a swarm of bees in my pine tree!" I have my name out on a couple of bee removal web pages as someone willing to capture a swarm. I was literally 10 minutes away from where this person lived, so I swung by to take a look.

Sure enough, there was a honey bee swarm in the tree!

It was about 20 feet up in the tree in their yard - pretty easy to get to. The owner said the bees had been there since Sunday, so only 3 days.

So I arranged with the owner to come by the next evening with all the things needed to capture the swarm. Luckily the homeowner had an extension ladder that I was able to use, so I didn't have to bring one myself.

I decided to bring a nuc box, since I think the swarm was small enough to fit easily.

So I set the ladder up to get to the swarm (we just laid the ladder right into the tree - it supported me fine).

Here are a couple of closeups of the swarm.

So I had my pruners, and first pruned off the branch on the outside of the swarm. Unfortunatey when I did that, the branch moved a little and about 1/3 of the bees "fell off" of the swarm. I had to wait a few minutes until most of them regrouped.

Here I am with the swarm cut off:

So here's the technical part: I sprayed them with some sugar water to keep them occupied, then gave a big "shake" over the box and the bees dropped in.

Here you can see the little bit of comb they had built on the branch.

There were still a bunch of bees flying around, so I decided to leave the nuc at the base of the tree overnight, and then stop by the next night (after dark) to pick it up and bring it back to my house.

This is the first time I've done this, and it was surprisingly fun. But then the swarm was easy to get to.

Free bees!

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff Steve, you are braver than me scaling a 20 foot ladder with a handful of bees :)


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