Collected a cantelope size swarm on 8/7/09 in Beaumont, Texas. They had built wildcomb about the size of an egg, so they might have been there a couple of days. I know they had been there 24 hours from when I picked them up.
Got another swarm call on 4/15..........from another beek not too far from me. He is just going into his second year, 79, and his health is not too good.
Anyway, went to help him and the bees had just left. Said he hadn't seen the swarm the day before but I believe they had been there for some time. How likely is it that the bees swarmed and then found a home and left the tree in just hours?
Sad thing is that the hive that swarmed was left with a lot of bees, brood comb (some with honey and pollen) but no queen, eggs, larva or capped brood.
Got a call for a cutout yesterday, showed up to assess the situation today and there is a swarm 25' off the ground but directly over the roof ridge and only 8-10' above that in addition to the soffit-hive. Medium-sized swarm, wasn't prepared to collect and it's going to rain all night so if they are still there in the morning I'll get them at that time.
Got a call tonight from a lady in Auburn Town, TN. Has a swarm about 10' up in a tree. Bees swarmed out of a tree hive this afternoon. She wants the bees and wants to be a beek. Got to be at a house around 7:45 in the morning for a tree crew that is cutting down a huge tree that has a bee hive in the main trunk. May be a huge hive.
Anyway, going to get this swarm for the lady in the early morning around 6:30. Charging her $93. $40 to come out and get the swarm (22 miles away) and $53 for a 5 frame nuc with 4 frames of foundation and 1 frame of old comb. Think that's fair enough. Swarm is about 10' up. Home is an easy drive. Nuc is one I built from the instructions that were put up on this forum a month or so ago using plywood. Plywood is cabinent grade that was given to me so all I have in the nuc is labor, glue, nails, primer, and paint.
Got a basketball sized swarm today. It was on the ground in a field of two-foot tall grass making capturing it a challenging three-hour process. I couldn't shake them into the box or scoop them up so I started picking as many up by hand as I could, but that was like herding cats. Then I lucked out and found the queen. Once she was inside I just sat back and watched them go in.
Something told me to walk in my neighbor's yard. He has a hive there that I manage. My shoulder is in too bad a shape to be pulling boxes off to look at frames. But 2 days ago I took all off but the brood chamber with is a high and medium. All of the other boxes were almost full of honey and capped honey. Was a little brood mixed in but not much. Added another super as the 4th box from the bottom. (I have been in severe pain and taking pain killers since I looked in the hive!!!!
Anyway something told me to walk over there and it was getting toward dusk. As I was walking up to the hive I heard bees but it didn't register at first. Walking back I heard them again. It was coming from the plum tree not far from the hive. There were bees in several places on the tree and some on the ground. Carefully moved the bees around on the ground and saw the queen. Went and got me a 5 frame medium nuc with 2 frames of honey. Put the box in front of the bees and they started marching into the box. All except the queen and those that were all around her. Finally to a small stick and pushed the ball of bees and queen up onto the entrance and left.
Other bees were still in the tree but only in one spot. Swarm on the ground was not a lot of bees but the queen looked mated. The second swarm is about 3 times larger which still isn't saying much. Softball size??
Will look in the AM and see if the swarm is still in the tree. If it is, I will hive it in a 3 frame high nuc. Leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks to see my family in SC and go to the beach. Either they make it or they don't. Will close up the entrances on both so that they are only around 1 bee in width.
Swarm in a tree at least 20 feet up. My yard so it's from one of my hives. Could be an abscond instead of swarm. Opened up 1 hive today that I had been nursing along and it was devestated with WM, WML, WMP. Pulled out most of the frames and left in open.
Got a call about a swarm night of 7/1. Close to the ground on a small holly tree. Maybe 4 or 5 lbs. Hived them on 7/2 with a tarp on the ground. Came back last night to pick them up after dark. Someone had pulled the tarp up part of the box and another part was pulled over. Dead bees. Checked hive and there were still a lot of bees when I put it out at a farm.
2 swarms. 1 in peach tree with queen and as many bees as possible inside a butterfly house. Had already started building comb. Also a small swarm on the outside of a nuc that was a swarm I had gotten a week or so ago.
Small swarm by nuc. Found unmated queen in a ball of bees on the ground in front of the nuc. Put her and as many of the bees as possible in a medium nuc.
Larger swarm in tree/butterfly house. Unscrewed bottom of house and shook out all of the bees and also shook out the bees that were on the limb above into high nuc below branch. Saw a mated queen.
Later in day I saw a ball of bees on top of high nuc frames. It was the unmated queen or another one just like her. Put her in a small box for a couple of hours. Decided to see what would happen if I let her out by the high nuc. Bees immediately balled her. Put her in medium nuc and she went in between the frames.
Larger swarm absconded back to tree. Every now and then they would swarm out only to return to the peach tree. Put the butterfly house back on tree.
Smaller swarm in medium seemed to be okay.
Larger swarm moved back into butterfly house. I had captured a lot of bees in a small wooden box I had made sometime back. Moved the high nuc away from tree facing a wooden fence and put up a lot of sticks in front. Added a frame of brood that contained larva. Opened up the wood box of bees and dumped some inside top. Many stayed put. Moved the butterfly house and laid by the nuc. Finally had to open the bottom of the house and shake the bees and queen into the top of the box and put top back on nuc. Bees stayed. and were there today 7/25/10.
Can't figure out that unmated queen. Why she would be in front of a nuc containing a swarm. Why she would leave a nuc I put her in with bees and fly over to another swarm where the bees continuously attacked her.
Noticed a small swarm on a small globe that is on a metal stake. Since I knew a globe was there I knew that this couldn't be much of a swarm. But I put a 5-frame medium under it on 2 bricks. Nuc has a screened bottom. Closed down the small entrance further and added just 4 frames. 3 of the frames have some brood comb.
Well, they all went into the nuc by night fall. As I was putting the cover on the nuc............... a moth flew towards the nuc.................but I got the cover on first.
May or may not make it. Willing to see if there is a queen and if she is mated or gets mated and what kind of layer she becomes. Have a couple other hives that are not doing so well so a combine is possible.
Been out of town. Got home Sat night and saw a large swarm in a magnolia tree this AM. Must have been 5 pounds of bees. Cut the limb and placed the bees in a 8 frame high hive. No problems. Bees seemed to be happy. Came back later today around 2PM and they were gone.
Strange thing is that in the past if a swarm left a hive/box/nuc because they didn't like it, they setlled back in the same tree or another one nearby. This time they were just gone.
Evidently the swarm that absconded went back to it's hive. Found the swarm again back in the same tree. Hived it again in the same 8-frame box. Added a frame of honey/pollen. Added a QE above the BB as an includer prior to hiving the swarm.
At nightfall the bees were still in the hive. Me thinks that I have got them this time.
Got a call for a swarm Friday evening around 6:45. Told them that I could get them 1st thing next morning. Said not good enough. Bees were above employee's entrance at the FedEx Ground Terminal.
They had tried to kill them with wasp spray prior to calling me and did kill a few. It was after 8PM when I got there. Bees were on the wall basically 1 to 2 bees thick spread out down the 2 sides of the corner wall.
Sprayed them hard with SW and swept them into a 5-frame nuc that had SW in some of the comb. Then I went about sweeping up every one I could find and putting them in the box. They stayed put as I gathered them up. Hard to estimate the size. Maybe 2-3 pounds at most.
Got home after 10PM. Put them out back on a stump the next morning because I was leaving later for a cutout at an apartment complex in Nashville.
Bees looked calm and comfortable in new home when I got back that evening from cutout.
Will be sending invoice for $75. The big trucking outfits should be checking the rigs at the gate before they come in for things like bees. No telling if this was a local swarm or a swarm that rode FedEx from who knows where.