We had our first swarm from a hive started last year. I tried hard to prevent it, but thanks to neighbors we were able to catch it and start another hive, so mixed blessings. It means we may not have honey we can pull from the older hive this year, but with three hives next year has promise and if one doesn’t make it over winter we have enough to keep going. I think I am getting better at managing the hive and figuring out what needs to be done, but it is still very much a learning process. Here are some pictures our neighbor took of me while catching the swarm.
This is little ol’ me trying to get bees that decided the best place to swarm was 16-20 foot up a tree. My husband had a lot of grand ideas after I talked about climbing the tree. Twas his idea to get the truck and ladder, and when that still wasn’t enough he thought of hte pool net. Such a creative guy… and good ideas!
Here I am trying my darnedest to get the swarm to drop into my net. It took some tries (first time we didn’t catch the queen so they all trooped out of the box) but I finally figured out that if I turned the net over after I got bees inside it would effectively “shut” the opening. Would be better with a flap I could quickly close, but I didn’t have that 🙂
I had a hive ready since I thought we might swarm, so I grabbed it and emptied the top box so I could dump bees in. After the first try where all the bees left I blocked the openings, dumped bees in, and went back for remaining ones. I finally got the queen so that when I would bring a net-full of bees they would troop into the hive, but I couldn’t get all of them, the distance from the swarm spot to the box was too great. However, I got all but a handful of them, so it is a good start.
Once the queen was gone the bees in the tree got very agitated and decided anyone with dark hair or clothes was fair game for dive-bombing, so the audience had to move away. I wonder if those bees might go back to the mother hive, but I doubt it. I feel bad for them! I am thrilled with another hive though 🙂