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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted a couple of annual PSAs and swarm capture videos on Nextdoor.com, so I get a few dozen swarm calls every spring. But recently I realized I'd never seen a swarm until I started keeping bees 6 years ago. I now live very close to where I grew up (2.5 miles, as the bee flies) so it's not a change of location.

Given the general hysteria I observe when lay people see a swarm, I'm amazed that I never saw or even heard of a swarm when I was a kid.

When was the first time you ever saw a swarm? If it was before you knew about beekeeping, what was your reaction?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Waterbug, strange question in a way but true. I am 58 and last year was the first time I ever saw a free hanging swarm. One of my own. Weird, huh?
 

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I was about 10 years old (50 yrs ago), living in IL. There was a swarm in a birch tree and my brothers and I were throwing a basketball at it to make the bees fall to the ground.
Is was a huge swarm and wished I kept bees back then because it would have filled 2 boxes.
 

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My grandma knew where a bee tree was and we’d stop and look at it during the summer months, a large white pine. We were there when a swarm was either lighting or issuing from it, the tree was covered w/ bees. I was probably about 7 or so, the pine’s still standing, and it’s a **** hole now.
 

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I was in my early 20's kayaking and fishing in Ohio. Came around a bend in the creek and heard a loud buzzing sound. It was a swarm hanging low on a branch on the creek bank. We stopped and watched it for a long time. It's the reason I became beekeeper. I was amazed and mesmerized by it. Took another 20 years to get my own bees but that day is what started my beekeeping journey.
 

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I was about 10 years old. Back then I spent my summer days at the Umatilla river. One day we heard a loud buzz and watched a large swarm flying and swirling around just over our heads and flew away. That is the only one I have found on my own, and it flew away rather than land somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was about 10 years old (50 yrs ago), living in IL. There was a swarm in a birch tree and my brothers and I were throwing a basketball at it to make the bees fall to the ground.
Is was a huge swarm and wished I kept bees back then because it would have filled 2 boxes.
Amazing what we survived as kids, no?

I was about 10 years old. Back then I spent my summer days at the Umatilla river. One day we heard a loud buzz and watched a large swarm flying and swirling around just over our heads and flew away. That is the only one I have found on my own, and it flew away rather than land somewhere.
I was in my early 20's kayaking and fishing in Ohio. Came around a bend in the creek and heard a loud buzzing sound. It was a swarm hanging low on a branch on the creek bank. We stopped and watched it for a long time. It's the reason I became beekeeper. I was amazed and mesmerized by it. Took another 20 years to get my own bees but that day is what started my beekeeping journey.
Did you two understand what you were seeing when you were seeing it?

The first time I watched my first hive swarming, my mind went so blank that I didn't understand what I was seeing until afterward. I'd only been keeping bees for a couple of months, and although I'd read the words in the books, the reality of the situation was mindblowing for a newbee. I'm surprised that I didn't catch a dozen bees in my gaping mouth.

I get the same reaction from most laypeople when they see a swarm. Then I start a "walk-in," and they get more intellectually curious, bolder, inquisitive, etc.
 

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I was in high school. I went to a private school and lived there. One of the science teacher caught a swarm on a branch, cut the branch off and was walking past our dormitory with it on his way home. It was a truly remarkable sight. The next time was about 40 years later (4 years ago) when I caught one in my yard. I am still fascinated with them.
 
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