world's tiniest swarm
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pasadena, California, USA

    Default world's tiniest swarm

    Over the last 10 days or so I've had an enchanting experience. I was over in my bee yard (three hives), and I noticed a pomegranate hanging at about eye level. It was completely covered in bees, even with the bees it wasn't any bigger than softball size. So I figured that was about the smallest swarm I had ever seen. Since it was only about 5 feet away from my strongest hive. I thought it strange and unlikely to be a swarm from that hive. At any rate, my wife ran across the canyon and grabbed my bee bucket and my clippers and my sugar spray and I began to clip all the superfluous foliage off down to my fingers on the stem of that pomegranate. I clipped it out and laid it down so gently and gingerly into that bucket. I sprayed them immediately with sugar water to keep them from flying around and I had what I thought was probably the world's smallest swarm. Since winter is coming here, (Duh). I seriously doubted there was anything that I could do with them to keep them alive, but I thought I'd give it a try. So the next day I found a five frame nuke box that takes deep frames and a put medium-size frames in it so that I could set the pomegranate down in the bottom of the nuke box. While gingerly setting that pomegranate down in the bottom of the nuke box I actually saw the Queen. I reduced their entrance to just a tiny tiny little quarter inch high half-inch wide opening covered with tape the first night. They have a jar of sugar water, and I thought it would see what would happen. That night, it dropped to 40°, pretty cold for out here in California. I thought they were goners for sure, but in the morning they were still alive. Not too active, but still alive. So I covered them in a very heavy thermal blanket so as not to expose them to the cold like that again. And I opened that tiny little entrance, and it probably took about half an hour for the first bee found her way out. And there were so few of them. I really couldn't tell if they were drinking my sugar water or not. So I watched and I waited and things got better and the bees started coming out, and they started going back in and was so exciting to see them take up residence in my five frame nuke box. Today I open the top in order to put a pollen Patty and sure enough they're building a permanent residence. They'll be a likely suspect to re-queen in April. I'm so excited about having (so far), saved this tiny little swarm.

    Last edited by Curt732; 11-15-2010 at 11:31 AM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Hillsdale, MI USA

    Default Re: world's tiniest swarm

    I like the story, thanks for telling it. I hope they make it for you.
    "The true meaning of life is to plant tree's, which under whose shade you do not expect to sit" Nelson Henderson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Covington, Ga, USA

    Default Re: world's tiniest swarm

    I had a Russian Hive swarm and there was the queen and about 100 bees on a sighting table for guns. The guy called me in a panick. I just sprayed a little sugar water on my hand and let all of them including the queen crawl in my hand and i put them in a Nuc. Within 2 days they were dead from robbers at the Apiary
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Anthony, New Mexico USA

    Default Re: world's tiniest swarm

    2 weeks ago, I got a call from a guy concerned about his neighbors- an old lady that could hardly move, with a bedridden husband and invaded by bees. He described the bees and out I went. Not interested on the bees for the almost no chances to survive, I was more interested on helping the old folks. I got there, caught a softball size swarm, and took them home. I gave them sugar, sugar water, a “Tucson bee diet burger” and installed them on a top bar box. They are alive, flying around during the day, and sleeping close to each other at night. I hope they make it to the spring.


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