Got a swarm in my TBH
So, I answer an ad in the local (ha) freecycle. Seems this woman has two nests of bees she wants removed. She says she's concerned about her grandkids.
OK, so I go take a look. It turns out NEITHER nest is even near her trailer. She takes me on a walk through this little bitty town. One nest is in a tree about two blocks from her house. She had told me on the phone that she was 5'2", and could reach the nest entrance. LOL! When we reached the tree, I saw the entrance was at least 9 or 10 feet up. I asked her to show me how she could reach it.....She said it looked lower before.
We continue on....The other nest is in a boarded up window in an old brick building another block from her house. The sill of the window is 8' off the ground. The inside of the building is rubble. I told her I might be interested in the nest in the building. She starts going on about how much HONEY will be in the nest. She obviously hasn't actually seen old, black comb with twigs, bees, larvae, and a little honey mixed in it. I tell her if there's any decent comb, I will give her some.
We drive on home.
I finish the siding yesterday. HHubby is in IL. I finally leave the farm about 8:15 p.m. This gal calls me and tells me there's a big swarm in a tree just down from the building. Man! Bees hate to be worked after dark, and I'm dead beat, but I'm wanting a swarm for my Top Bar Hive, so I go back to the farm and get the hive, a bee jacket, gloves, a couple of step ladders, and some 2x4s.
It's 9:30 by the time I get there. The swarm is at LEAST 15' in the air. I put up the 8' and 10' ladder, place the 2x4s between them, and put the hive on the boards. I take about 1/3 of the bars out, and add a dash of lemongrass oil. I then proceed to knock the branch the bees are on. They fall down on the hive, and come ALIVE! I fall off the 8' ladder, hair full of angry bees. Now, swarms generally don't sting, so I'm not even wearing a veil. It was not my finest hour, but I'm sure it was highly entertaining to the onlookers.
So now I suit up. I find out that the bees have been around 2-3 DAYS. Any honey they took away from the hive is long gone, and they are hungry and ANGRY! I borrow a flashlight and a 6' stepladder, so I can check the hive. I just happen to see the queen crawl by into the hive. Yippee!
There's a thunderstorm moving in, and I don't want the stepladders et al blowing over in the storm, so while it's starting to rain, I ascend the small stepladder, bring down the now heavy hive, and cover the top with a folded tarp. I put the stepladders and 2x4s away, and head home. I made it home by midnight.
The people call me bright and early this morning to tell me all the bees are in the box, and COME GET THEM. They called 3 more times while I was mowing my yard. I swung by on the way to the farm, fix the hive for traveling, and take them to Skyview.
The people want me to come back Friday to get the hive out of the wall of the old building, but I'm not sure I want them that badly now. I'll have to finish another hive, and I'm pretty darned busy.
Oh, I wound up with some mean bees, and 5 stings.
What a hobby.
Thanks for the story. I would let some other poor sap get the other bees!
Yeah, you'd think I'd learn
But I've got one more TBH built to Michael Bush's instructions. I'd kinda like to fill it this year.
So...Hubby and I went to the local farm store today and purchased some extra hose.
He's going to build a bee vac for me!
What a man! Now all I have to do is find a source of electricity for the vacuum....
If these people want the bees gone badly enough, they'll provide a source.
Otherwise, they can keep their mean bees.
I plan on re-queening post haste.
Thanks, Judy. You made me smile and remind me of the bees I got Wednesday. She called with the swarm 5' off the ground. When I got there, reswarmed to 20 feet in an oak. Got the bees, like you, and BOY are they STILL touchy! I'll wait a about 10 days if they don't calm down and let me walk my own property, requeen.