In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

First swarm call of the season!

I had my morning all planned out.  First thing, post my weekend on my blog, and catch up on blog reading.  BUT...  I got a call....a "swarm" call.  The first thing you do when you get a swarm call is ask them to describe the swarm.  So many people think a few little wasps, yellow-jackets, or hornets are a honey bee swarm.  The person that called me has been a friend of mine since we were about 18.  I worked at Purdue University Technology for about 15 years, and that's where she works now.  She was telling me the Director of Purdue programs has a swarm at his house.  When she described it, I packed my bee equipment and took off. 
CHECK....THIS....OUT!!!!

 I asked if either one of them wanted to 'suit up' and help me out.  I could have gotten them by myself as I have many times.  But sometimes, people think it's an adventure to help.  It is!  So this is the Director of Purdue Technology in our town, helping me get a swarm of honeybees that were in his back yard. 

I was going to shake the limb of bees into the box, but after thinking about it a little bit, and after he showed me that the bees were coming out of his house! (he has a bigger problem than a swarm of bees as he really does have bees coming in and out of his house) I decided to to cut the branch rather than shake it.  I didn't want the bees to fly back into the house.  Plus, I could reach the branch on the bottom, pull it down, and reach it on the top!
 Look at the first picture again....that branch used to stick straight out.  He said as the bees were landing on it (he happened to see the swarm land) the branch kept getting heavier and heavier and it was hanging straight down, rather than out.  I have never got a swarm of bees this easily.   Usually you have to drag out a ladder and try to figure out how you are going to get the bees.  I had him cut the branch while I held it on both ends. 
 I would never have someone that isn't used to bees hold the limb.  I'm on the left, he's on the right.
 I have the whole branch of bees in my hand and am attempting to put them in the box. 
 We had to carefully cut a few more limbs off to get it to fit.   Anytime you are getting a swarm, you just need to get the queen and the rest will follow.  However, it's rare that you see the queen.  You just know you got her when the bees go inside.
I left the lid cracked open for a little while to try to get as many bees as possible to go in.  I didn't want the bees in the box to go out though.
 You can see what looks like a lot of bees flying around us....and there are.....
 but nothing compared to the amount of bees in the box.  I waited awhile to let more bees goes into the box, then
 I put the lid on the box, put it in my trunk (only because I didn't have too far to drive and it wasn't too hot out)
 and took it home to put in one of my empty hives.
You shake the bees out of the cardboard nuc box into the hive...and hope they stay.

 Notice I stuffed a bunch of grass in the opening of the hive.  That's to encourage the bees to stay in the hive.  They can maneuver through it, and air will flow through it, but it will die by tomorrow and they will remove it.
 I checked on it a couple of times this evening....and they are still there.
 YAY!!!
Come on swarm calls!!!

JV - everyone there has my number, right?!?!!!!

Cindy Bee


15 comments:

  1. Cindy you are far, far braver than I...much as I love honey and respect bees I don't think my epi-pen could cope with a swarm; especially one that size!

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  2. OK you worry about me with little ole bears and you are out gathering bees oh yes you are my hero. I love watching you work. Someday I am going to come and see you in action even though that freaks me out just a bit I rather deal with the bears searching for those hives:)
    You are awesome. Hug B

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    1. tsk tsk Buttons....Bees ain't nuthin' compared to bears!

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  3. Yes - Cindy I have your number ready for any swarms.

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  4. I wish I lived closer...I'd love to see a 'rescue'!
    Jane x

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    1. I wish you lived closer too. I'd love to take you on a rescue!

      Cindy Bee

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  5. Cindy, I am smiling from ear to ear...you are an amazing woman. I love it. Hope you can get some more...will the bees going in and out of the house leave now?? Or did they have a new queen ? xoxo,Susie

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    1. Hi Susie,
      The bees going in and out of the house will stay. They have a new queen. He really needs to find someone that will get them out of his house, along with the comb and honey.

      Cindy Bee

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  6. Susie from SheJunks sent me over! What an interesting adventure! My husband helped a friend with his hives a few times. We need more honey bees where we are! I rarely see one in our vegetable garden!:(

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  7. Brilliant photos Cindy. My congrats to the photographer - were they suited up too or standing at a very safe distance with a telephoto lens? I bet that branch weighed quite a bit. Philippa xx

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    1. Hi Philippa,
      The photographer was not suited up. Swarms are very gentle. She did not get stung, but she was a safe distance away. Not really that far, but safe.

      Cindy Bee

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  8. How exciting!! Hope they stay I. Your hive.

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  9. Cindybee you are so dang brave. Did you see on the news there was a truck accident with 20 thousand bees escaping? That's where I live. Luckily I'm not home! I can't figure out how to send you a link on my phone...Google it.

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    1. I did not hear about this except through you! I wish I was there to help gather them up!

      Cindy Bee

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  10. Okay Cindy; that is just badass...seriously,"uh can you clip this branch and i will hold up this branch of a million lbs of bees while you do that" YOU BE THE BEE LADY!!!!!

    xoxox

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Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment on my blog. I enjoy reading them. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Cindy