2013-03-20_17-07-30_357.jpgI got a call at work yesterday about 2 swarms in a local yard. I went over there after work, and found 1 swarm about 3 feet up in an azalea, it touched the ground and bearded out another foot or so. It was as big around as a large coffee can.
The second swarm was the entry of the original hive 30 foot up in a huge oak, almost overhead. The homeowner said they have been there 3 years, but this is the first swarm he's seen. I shook most of the swarm in a cardboard box, sat it down, cracked the lid, and left it til after dark. It all went perfect except I had ridden to work with my wife, and didnt' have my veil with me. I took a couple to the eyebrow. Its swelled up pretty good, but nothings free, right? The box with swarm weighed 10 pounds full, the box weighed a pound empty. I hived them this morning, on 3 old drawn foundationless frames and 7 empty foundationless. They filled the bottom of a deep 10 frame about four inches up. I'm tempted to add a few more drawn frames, but havent' decided yet. With that many bees, they should fill those empties pretty fast. I feed mason jars through the migratory cover, so they got a quart of 1:1 and a pollen patty. I know the patty is overkill, we've got plenty of pollen right now, but it might help to anchor them til a little brood starts hatching. I'd hate to lose this one.
My buddy caught one the day before, so I guess our swarm season is officially open.