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Captured my first Swarm

811 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  hemichuck
Captured my first swarm yesterday while I was at work. Not only was it my first captured swarm but also the first I have ever seen besides pictures or videos. I work at a refinery and they were clustered on a 14" pipe flange on the side of a big steam boiler. A pretty bad storm was approaching when I got the call from a fellow employee, I quickly began to gather materials racing to beat the storm. I got a cardboard box, duct tape, straw wisk broom knowing I couldnt pick up and shake the pipe. They were located in a difficult spot on the bottom side side of the flange with the stud bolts and nuts sticking through. By now lightning was coming down and the refinery had ordered everybody inside for safety from the lightning but I was so excitied I wasnt about to just leave them and I thought they might leave for cover duirning the storm. They were about 60' high but luckily there were stairs and a platform to work from and they were just right about chest high from the platform. By now a small crowd of co-workers had gathered at the ground under shelter of course to watch this idiot heading up with his box making me a little more nervous knowing they were all watching. All went well though, I eased the box under them with one arm and using the wisk broom I raked as many as possible in the box on the first swipe. After a couple more swipes I had most in the box. I shut the box leaving one end cracked and held it up hoping the rest would follow, there were a couple hundred left on the flange crawling around, They were going and coming and the rain began pouring down with heavy duty lightning too. I decided to close them up and head down to shelter, I think I got the queen and didnt see her left with the stragglers. Got them installed into a hive right before dark at home and another storm so I feel confident they at least stayed the night. Filled their feeder with syrup and they all seemed happy, the stragglers were crawling in joing the others when I left. I didnt have a chance to check them this morning before coming to work but I will as soon as I get off today. Pretty exciting day for me being my first, not sure I used the right methods but the main thing is their at the house, wish I would of had more time and hated leaving some on the flange. I think there are probably 2-1/2 to 3 pounds of bees just judging from the 3# packages I have bought. Anyway Im a happy BEEK today, just like Christmas when you were a kid.:D:D
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Congratulations on your first swarm.It kind of gets you pumped up and hoping for the next call to come.Keep an eye on that spot because sometimes other swarms are attracted to the phermones left from the last swarm.
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