Sunday, June 29, 2008

Swarm Catchers

The small section of the swarm.

Putting the swarm into the box to bring them home.

Today is Ruby's Second Birthday. I was happily making her birthday cake and last minute preparations this morning when the children yelled, "What's going on? It looks like the hive is swarming!" I dropped what I was doing and ran to the window. Sure enough, there were about 60,000 bees flying around my back yard!! What an amazing sight (gave me perspective to the Isrealites plagues) but not a sight you want to see from your own hive. Fortunately, we were able to see them land in our neighbor's back yard.

I called Ivars (someone I met at the beekeepers meeting) and went to his house to borrow some hive equipment. He followed me back home and helped Sean and I catch the swarm. It involved pruning the branch off of the neighbor's tree. We then put them in the new hive and watched and waited for the best. The bees are incredibly docile (Think of how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner) they had gorged themselves on the honey from my existing hive and left to find a better home.

We thought everything was going to be fine. A few hours later we noticed the bees about 1 1/2 inches thick on the outside of the new hive, they covered nearly all three sides!! Again, an amazing sight! Then they swarmed again. We tried to follow them, but they went over the fence, across the next street and we lost them. We drove around asking people and looking but no luck. We are still hoping that the bees will find a place close by and we can catch them again. We just lost about 60% of our hive and probably our honey for the year. I guess it is a learning process but what a bummer.


Anissa said...

Oh man! What a bummer! Your bee saga is always interesting, though! LOL

Alliwoo said...

Totally creepy and gross! If they would have landed in my tree I would have freaked! Hope you get them back!