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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gage County, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    To some spring means flowers, green grass, and thunderstorms. To me, spring means SWARMS! Of all of the beekeeping activities throughout the year, swarm wrangling his by far my favorite.
    I received ‘the call’ Tuesday afternoon from the local police department about a swarm in progress and meandered my way by after work to check them out before stopping at home to get the necessary equipment. I was speaking to the lady on the phone as I was driving, and I asked her “so, are we talking about 50 bees or a giant blob?” She replied “Oh no, a giant blob. They’re on my front door. Are you coming right away?”
    I arrived at her house and found this:

    photo.JPG

    I about wet my pants with excitement and anticipation. I calmly explained why the bees were there and what they were doing and went home to gather my equipment.
    By the time I was close to ready, my bee-buddy was about to get off of work so I stalled for a few minutes so we could share the success of another swarm captured. I arrived back at the swarm just in time to watch the last two handfuls join the cartoon shaped cloud that was already airborne. I stood there with the homeowner in awe as the bees organized and the cloud proceeded south.
    I quickly ended the conversation and attempted to follow them. I was able to track them 2 blocks south were the congregated around a large maple tree. As soon I put the truck in park, I recognized where I was; we had been to this tree last year when the homeowner called with bees in her tree.
    I was able to capture a couple of videos of the cloud of bees as they funneled the RV sized swarm into a fist-sized knothole and, for the most part, disappeared from sight.
    We were bummed we weren’t able to catch the swarm but were pleased we were able to watch Mother Nature in action.

    ...Hmmm, can't figure out how to upload video. I gues you will have to use your imagination until I get a little more time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    You can tell when a swarm is getting close to taking off by watching the scout bees doing there waggle dance on the out side of the swarm cluster. If you see more then 10 scouts waggling you better hurry, more than 20 and you better pull out all stops to get them caught immediately.

    Good that they moved into a tree and not somebodies house.

    Better luck on the next one. ....Don

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gage County, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    Thanks for the advice, I was curious if there was any way to tell!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gage County, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    Any ideas why they went back home? Was Her Royal Highness just out for a stroll? Did they swarm and then change their mind? The whole thing is very curious to me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    I missed that, so you think the swarm originated from the Maple tree to begin with and they were just returning to their old home?

    If that is the case, look for them to swarm again today.

    I would ask the HO or a near neighbor to watch for them between 11 and 3 and to follow them if they can to let you know where they stage this time. I think most swarms escape unnoticed by anyone.

    Good luck catching them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gage County, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    Sorry, must have been thinking it and not typing it. Yes, I do believe that the swarm originated from the big maple tree. We were there (at the same tree) last year and there was an active cololny living in one of the limbs. To me, it makes logical sense that they swarmed from the tree, landed on the front porch, changed their minds, and went back home.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    liked the note about the waggle dance. I assumed something like that. I was vacuuming off a swarm into my bee vac last week, and saw waggle dances all over it. I assumed that could go wrong for me, so the dancers went into the vac first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Utah,Utah,USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: A swarm call emotional rollercoaster

    Cool!. To bad you missed being able to hive it.

    I will give a little advice not just for you but for anyone else out there catching swarms. ALWAYS HAVE EQUIPMENT WITH YOU. I can't stress that enough. Once bees can find a place to go and agree on it they are gone fast. I hear about it all the time someone shows up without equipment, leaves to get it and comes back to find them gone. Now I now most of you may not be able to have everything you think you might need but here is a list I keep. I drive around in a small car and can fit all of this in my car.

    1. nuc box (for the smaller swarms)
    2. 1 Deep box with frames/foundation, top, and bottom.
    3 Roll of duct tap to seal anything up.
    4 Ratchet strap to secure boxes for transport.
    5. Pruners for the branches I can cut.
    6. Queen clip to secure the queen if I find her.
    7. swarm catching pole. ( I use this all the time).
    8. 6' ladder ( it fits in my car with the seat down).
    9.Protective clothing.
    10. (optional) Bee vac.

    I fit all this in my little car. When I get the call I head there ASAP. Sometimes I may have to wait until I get off work but if that is the case I always leave my number and tell them to call me back if the bees fly off, don't want to waist the trip if they aren't there. I was told if you want a swarm you better be ready to get it right away.

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