Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The swarm (actually swarms!)

Post: Bernie: April 20, 2012:
Note: To follow our Bee Keeping adventure from beginning to end, choose Setting up the hive from the index at right.

I called Eric last night and told him that there were bees outside the hive clustered around the opening.

The next day I was out staining the overhang on the east side of the house where the hive can easily be seen from when I heard this very, very loud buzzing. I immediately looked toward the hive. And there between me and the hive over the top of the brier rose hedge was a huge cloud of bees!

I went in and called Eric and he said he would get some materials together and come right over.

By the time I went back outside the bees had all gathered into a huge teardrop shaped cluster of solid bees.

Fortunately they had clustered close by. Unfortunately they were inside a big brier rose bush.

While Eric set up the new hive my job was to cut into the brier rose so we could get in there and try and capture the swam before they moved on.

So I put on a quilted jacket, hat, bee mask/hat and leather winter gloves and started very carefully reaching into the brier rose and gently cutting away the branches from under and around the swarm cluster.

Ok, that's probably 8,000 to 10,000 bees hanging there. RUN AWAY!

Then, get this, the idea was for Eric to get under the cluster with a five gallon bucket and a screen. While I was to whack the branch just near the cluster so they would fall into the bucket! What!

I love this plan. I have my rake and a glazed over medicated look. I think I'm ready!

And it actually worked!

The swam cluster was gone and the few remaining ones...

...were finding there way to the new hive.

We now have two hives out in the yard!

We are now officially swarm catchers! Did I mention that we didn't get stung once! No really, not once or any more times than once either.

Postscript: April 21, 2012 

Eric call in late morning and guess what? His bees were swarming too! Joey and I got over there as fast as we could. Of course with my now battle proven quilted jacket, hat, bee mask/hat and leather winter gloves!

This one was a little more difficult! They were clustered around both sides of a beam in his outdoor shower enclosure.

But in the end (off camera) we captured the whole cluster by slowly sweeping the bees from each side of the beam, covering the bucket with the screen and pouring them into their new home. Now Eric has another hive at his house too! Ok, we had a lot of stings with this one but we had a lot of medicinal libation to soothe them! We then had a celebratory dinner with friends and neighbors and a great evening!

(video to come)

So if you have a swarm and want it removed just dial 860-BEE-GUYS (maybe someone will answer if their face isn't too swollen). LOL

Next: We have honey [READ]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting in a useful and appropriate way.