Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Bee Log 39; May 19, 2010
Swarm Capture Bucket
Beehive with Swarm
I captured a swarm today. No, this video is NOT me. It was my inspiration and what I wish I had looked like. Thank you Jeff McMullan for your excellent footage of a very experienced beekeeper.
I had seen this video on Youtube and had a similar situation developing at my house. The bees landed in a pear tree on the alley about 4 houses down the block. I was home alone so it was up to me or wait. Bad weather was forecast so I chose to act. I taped a 5 gallon paint bucket to the bottom of a 12 foot pruning pole with duct tape (see photo). I prepared a box to receive the bees complete with bottom and top. I practiced getting near the swarm but not hitting them. I practiced dumping the bees in the box from the ladder. I prayed and then I bumped the bucket as hard as I could up under the swarm. I did not anticipate the weight of the swarm. I must have had 5 pounds of bees. It took me a few seconds to readjust to the weight and get the bees safely out of the tree. I dumped the bees in the waiting hive and put the lid on askew and sat down to wait (see photo). There were still a significant number of bees in the tree. I was worried that I did not get the queen. I waited. The bees started fanning at all open points on the hive. Bees started filling the air. I could not tell if the bees were headed out or in the hive. I waited. The bees were going in!
About this time I talked to a neighbor, Tony, who was taking out his garbage. I explained what was happening as there were still a lot of bees in the air. It is a bit alarming to see a swarm.
I waited for about an hour until most of the bees were in the hive. Then, I put a strap around the hive and pulled it home on a dolly. I hope they like their new home!