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Sun May 17, 2015, 09:23 AM

I'm anxious to see what happened to Friday's bee swarm

I was just getting started on a 2nd farm plot and heard thousands of buzzing bees. A cloud 25' x 10', vertical, like a small tornado, was a swarm of our beloved honey bees. We stood beneath the swarm. I was amazed that there were that many bees coming out of about 6 boxes. To be with a superorganism as it reproduces (by splitting the hive) was a spiritual experience. Another reminder that we are all in this life together and that divisions are mostly the illusion of our own tunnel vision.

They soon settled on this pine tree branch and encased the queen in this mass that seemed more than 16 inches thick.



The farm owner was talking about getting a pro in or suiting up herself to capture the swarm and start a 2nd hive on the farm. I left before any action was taken.

The cliffhanger is that it rained on Friday night. Several bands that lasts several hours and that is a threat to a migrating swarm because it takes their precious body heat.

I am anxious to see what happened. Hoping to get out there today since I have a lot to do and get caught up. Like the bees, I am migrating between farms and need to get into food production ASAP now.

Will update when I know more.

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Reply I'm anxious to see what happened to Friday's bee swarm (Original post)
GreatGazoo May 2015 OP
Major Nikon May 2015 #1
GreatGazoo May 2015 #2
Major Nikon May 2015 #3
randr May 2015 #4
Major Nikon May 2015 #5
randr May 2015 #6

Response to GreatGazoo (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2015, 09:28 AM

1. My dad was a beekeeper and we used to capture swarms

We never used the bee suits. We would just burn a burlap bag underneath and wait till they were good and smoked before taking them.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #1)

Sun May 17, 2015, 10:12 AM

2. our farm owner has develop an allergy so is being more careful

How do you "take them"? In what?

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Response to GreatGazoo (Reply #2)

Sun May 17, 2015, 10:42 AM

3. We would put a cardboard box underneath

Then we would saw off the limb and let them fall into it. Once the queen is in the box most of the rest eventually follow, then we'd close up the box, take them home, and transfer them into an empty hive.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Sun May 17, 2015, 01:59 PM

4. I use a plastic trash can under the swarm

First we smoke them and then, if possible, I just give the branch a hard shake and they fall enmass. Once the queen has fallen into container with the swarm the rest will settle down and join her.
Pop on the lid and head home to a hive we keep ready for new swarms.
I love to do this without a suit as it gives the bees a sense of who I am during further work.
We have gathered at least 6 swarms over the last few years this way. I just love working with them and love the honey even more.

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Response to randr (Reply #4)

Sun May 17, 2015, 02:04 PM

5. I'm not sure if you can still do this, but my dad used to order queens by mail

It would come in a small box made from wood and wire mesh with a can of sugar water and a few bees to feed the queen. Along the trip, other bees would be attracted to the queen's cage and our local post office thought the bees were getting out. They called for my dad to come pick it up from the post office.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #5)

Sun May 17, 2015, 05:02 PM

6. Sure can, lots of sources on line

We have had to re-queen hives due to die off a few years ago. The Post Office calls up early for us to come in to get them as our rural carrier does not want a box of bees in her car all day.

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