Monday, May 17, 2010

Once more, with feelers

On Saturday, Tom the sprinkler guy arrived to get things running for the summer and said, "Oh, bees! I have a customer who's looking for some. And I might want to get some myself." I gave him my card and Jim called me later in the morning to say, yes, he was looking for a swarm.

A few hours later I got a call from a gal who had already had two swarms in her yard the day before (I sent someone else to get them) – a third swarm had shown up next door! I called Jim back and said, "You want bees? You got bees."
After a quick stop to get some supplies (Jim wasn't quite ready to get back in business), we found this very easy swarm in a lilac bush, only 6 feet off the ground. It was a simple matter for me to hold the the two main branches the bees were clustered on and for Jim to cut those branches. I just lowered the clump into the box, shook the bees off and put the lid on.
With the queen inside, the fanners came out on the front porch and let everyone know. After 20 minutes or so, nearly all the bees had gone into the box.

I'm bummed that I forgot to hit Record on the video camera I'd set up, so I've only got a little footage of the aftermath:

A bunch of neighbors were watching from way, way down the block. We persuaded them to come closer and everyone ooh'd and ah'd. I handed out more swarm cards. With lots of big, old hollow trees in that area, I suspect I'll be back there again.


  1. There are people in the suburbs who will pay for this service, you know.

  2. I'm starting to think I might ask for $20. I get a kick out of doing it but a little pocket money would help cover gas costs.

  3. My grandmother's bees swarmed once when I was visiting her as a little girl and I mentioned to her that the bees were very active that morning. She perked right up, called the Bee Man, and they got the bees into a new box in short order. I got stung once during the process but it was still really interesting.

  4. Great story! It must feel so good to succeed at capturing a swarm.

  5. Zoomie, that's neat. I'm sorry you got stung (that's not common with swarms), but it sounds like you weren't traumatized, at least.

    Pam, just wait until you try it. Really fun.