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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my first swarm call of the season, today. I drove over to the ladies house only to find the swarm was in a hundred year old oak tree about 25 feet off of the ground. It was a very large swarm maybe 5 lbs or so. I really wanted those bees. They were clustered on the bottom side of a 12 inch diameter limb right above some power lines. There was absolutely no way to get to them. I tried setting up a box with some drawn out comb and lemon grass oil, hoping the scouts would find it, but no joy. I left, leaving instructions with the home owner to call me back if they resettled on a lower limb.

It is very cloudy here, with the possibilities of a thunder storm tonight. I feel like the swarm will stay put for tonight at least.

My question is: is there anything else I could have done to retrieve this swarm? All the other swarms I have collected have been down low enough to get off of a 6 foot step ladder. I have either cut the limb off or sucked them up with my bee-vac. Any advice?
 

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Make your self a long entendable pole like painters use with a 5 gallon bucket on the end. Jar the bees into the bucket. If you can put the lid on a string running the line down through the bucket you can even close the bucket so few will fly out. Just put some screen so they will not suffocate. With a little ingenuity this even works to get feral hives with comb off a limb. We are seeing more hives in the open the last couple years.
 

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the power lines are the kicker-leave 'em alone. set your box on top of the step ladder and hope for the best. good luck and be safe,mike
 

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I feel your pain. There are too many negatives here. Too high, too big of limb, TOO MUCH ELECTRICITY. You could take a bee vac, with a long hose and a long non-conductive pole, and maybe suck them up. But 25 foot? That's too high!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I built my bee-vac, I was lucky enough to have a friend in the pool business, who gave me about 30 foot of cleaner hose. I can't imagine trying to suck up bees that high off of the ground with the hose attached to PVC pipe or some other non-conducting handle. Anything stiff enough and long enough would probably be too bulky to handle. I think that the other poster was right, that it was a battle that I wasn't going to win. I sure hated to see such a large swarm go uncollected though!
 
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