Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Big Grin

    I came home from work to find a big clump of bees on the bush next to my driveway. I was panic-stricken for a minute imagining the pandemonium that would strike my neighbors if they realized there was a basketball-sized clump in this bush. I knew I had to capture it but I had only seen it done on a video, not even in person. I didn't have any empty hive boxes, so I tried to call two other beekeepers I knew and couldn't get a hold of them. Even if I had, a trip to their houses for equipment would have added an hour to the process. So I went in the house and tried to think fast about what I could use the capture these bees. I got a bucket from the basement, and my extra veil. The veil has a tight elastic band all around it, which miraculously fit perfectly over the lip of the bucket. It would keep them in there and allow ventilation. Perfect!! So I put on my other veil and my gloves and went out to capture the swarm. I had to whack the limb because it was too fat to snip off. I didn't whack it hard enough and only about half fell into the bucket. One fourth remained on the limb and another one fourth decided to fly around my head. Even so, I stretched the veil over the bucket, while more bees began to land on top. I sprayed them all down with sugar syrup to calm them. It was a mess. I knew I was screwing it up, so I dashed in the house to try another beekeeper. I got one on the phone and she talked me thru the rest. She said they liked darkness and that I should replace the veil with a box with a hole cut in it for an entrance. I found a box, cut a hole about 2 inches square and went back out. I gently took off the veil, which was heavy inside and out with bees, and shook those off into the bucket. It seemed like zillions of bees flying around. About that time one of my neighbors walks by staring. I told her that everything was fine, giving her a wave and a big toothy smile, which she probably couldn't see thru my veil. She hurried into the house. I got the box over the bucket, threw the sticky veil aside and waited to see what they would do. I noticed that they seemed to like the box and were "scenting" around the opening. Within 30 minutes, they were all in the box, except for one curious fist-sized clump in the grass nearby. I went over to check them out and it was none other than the queen herself, strolling thru the grass with her attendants in tow. I very gently picked her up and placed her in the box. After that, they were ALL in there and everything seemed calm. I only had one problem. I didn't have the space or the equipment to start a new hive,so my beekeeper friend was more than happy to take them off my hands, since her hives had died out over the winter and she hadn't started new ones. So for now, at least, life is back to normal in the apiary. Whew!! I captured a swarm all by myself! It was scary and I had no idea what I was doing, but I just did the best I could and it all worked out okay.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Posts
    119
    Way to go, Angela! You obviously picked up something from watching the video.

    Did you hear anything more from the neighbor who saw you trying to capture the swarm? Maybe she should be on your list of honey recipients next fall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Post

    In the end you got it all right. Of course the veil on top wasn't going to work, but any old box will do for the moment when hiving a swarm. They are much calmer than you would expect aren't they?

  4. #4

    Post

    They were calmer than me - I was shaking like a leaf, but trying to look confident. The neighbor doesn't speak english, but if I get any honey, she will too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Smile

    Honey is a Universal Language,Great Job
    >>>>Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571
    catching swarms is great fun,if you want more make some calls to the local extension office,police,animal control,even exterminators.most people even want to pay you something for your free bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Twig, Minnesota USA
    Posts
    66

    Big Grin

    Great Job! I think anytime you get the swarm under control you have done well. I have had four swarms this year and was only able to capture one. And that was just yesterday. I just can't figure them out...to why they are swarming. They all have plenty of room and they are vented, so I guess they swarm no matter what we do. Good job on the capture Angela!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads