Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hiving a bee swarm

I picked up that swarm yesterday not knowing who would take it – but I was pretty sure someone would want it. I finally got a call back from S., whose last batch of bees didn't make it. She was delighted to get new ones.
Her hive is tucked away next to her garage. Her niece was "helping" but disappeared once the bees started flying.

The bees were a lot less freaked out in this case, having been messed with less to get them into the box, and having had some time to recluster. Here's the video:

It's instructive for me to watch these videos again, to learn what not to do. In this case, I realized that I really need to shut up with the unsolicited advice.

But the bees made it in just fine and by the time I left, the ones outside were steadily making their way in.
Welcome home, bees!


  1. I am loving all your bee posts! And to think that this all started with a beloved tree coming down... what a great hobby you've found!

  2. I've been lurking and enjoying your posts on bees. These last couple of videos were really interesting. Thanks for doing them.

  3. This is amazing to watch! What a great thing to be saving so many bees! My grandmother kept bees although she was very allergic to their stings - she would call the Bee Man when they swarmed and he'd come and coax the swarm into a new hive.

  4. Another nice video... and IMO your advice was helpful.

    Here's some unsolicited advice from me... In your next install, you might want to put the entrance reducer on beforehand. Keeps more bees in the hive so there's less flying around.

    Also, a spray bottle of water to mist them makes them a little heavier, so when you knock them out of the box, more of them fall in and less of them fly.

    BTW, I think you're incredibly brave, diving into beekeeping and catching swarms!

  5. I agree...the bee adventures are very interesting to follow!

  6. Thanks, Mimi! It really started with all the swarms I saw last summer, including the ones that went into the tree that came down.

    Thanks for delurking, p2sso! I take it you're a knitter ;-)

    Zoomie, that's cool about your grandmother. It's true that if you know what you're doing, you're not likely to get stung often, even without a bee suit.

    HB, those are good ideas! They did kind of ooze out the front like a Play-Doh Fun Factory. But they eventually all went in.

    I think swarms don't really scare me because I've seen so many now. I'm a lot more nervous about doing a hive inspection for the first time. (Probably next week.)

    Thanks, Firball!

  7. Wow, crazy! I don't know if I'd be able to handle doing that.

  8. I think having all those bees around would freak me out. Yikes!!!