Friday, May 09, 2008

Bee-moving day

My neighbors have a friend who is a beekeeper. Mary came out this morning to capture the swarm. Her fanciest equipment is the suit: overalls with a hood and veil.

First she sprayed the bees with some sugar water to keep them happy and willing to stick around, as it were.
Then she trimmed off the upper parts of the branches the swarm was on, and some of the twigs sticking out.
Then she pulled out her high-tech bee-capturing container: a Hefty bag. If the fence had not been in the way, she would've just used the other high-tech gear: a cardboard box.
With the bag in place over the bees, she cut the two branches they were on. Whoops! A big clump of bees fell to the ground! Hope the queen wasn't in that clump.
Most of the bees were still in the bag, though. It went into the box.
She carefully brushed as many bees off the fence into the box as she could.
More brushing as she closed up the box.
Duct tape is handy for so many things. Note that she has taken her gloves off. No stings! The bees all just want to get to the queen, who we hope is in the box. It's hard to tell.
VoilĂ ! Bees in a box!
Then a little personal tidying up before loading the bees into her Subaru. Leaving the beesuit on for the drive, of course. (Can you imagine?!)
And off the bees went, to their new home in Mary's backyard.

Maybe next year my backyard will have some, too!


  1. Wow that's just incredible! And I freak out when I have one bee buzzing around me.

  2. These bee posts are too cool! LOL! True, a Hefty bag really is the high tech gear! I've seen my college professors use those too!

  3. Whoa, that's just too cool. Of course, I'm not the one with bees all over the back of my head.

  4. I like the idea that beekeeping doesn't require a lot of fancy gear. I'm sure you go all-out with the latest beekeeping gadgets and designer hives, but you can also keep it pretty low-cost. the bees pretty much take care of themselves, you know?

  5. This is soo cool! Does she make honey too then?

  6. Yep! Well, the bees make the honey. She just collects it.

    (I deleted your comment with your last name in that earlier comment, btw, and reposted it. Never know who's reading!)

  7. Fascinating Kitt are you really thinking of having your own bees?

  8. Amazing stuff..couldn't believe the gloves were off! Makes me appreciate my honey even more :O)

  9. Breezy, yes, I'm seriously considering it. The more I read about bees, the more it seems like they would be ideal garden residents. Check out this site: Backyard Hive. The top-bar hive looks a lot easier for me to manage, and is a low profile. I'm going to see if the handy Drill Sergeant can build me one.

    Gina, bees really aren't aggressive (at least the non-Africanized ones aren't). A beesting will kill the bee, so they really only do it as a last resort.

  10. This is one of the coolest things I've seen! I'm loving that the bees got a new home! I've only seen a few big hives in my life, and unfortunately, one of them was inside the wall of our old house.