Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Bee or . . .

Heat wave has us going to water this week -- a second day at the municipal pool. My niece recovered after being splashed and spent some quality time with her cousins. I can just imagine: "Someday, you, too, will eat salame."

On the way home I got a call -- did I want a swarm? Thanks, Esperanza!

I did, very much, but we had to unload all of the swimmers who were awake, leaving crashed-out Mr. Salame asleep. I gathered my swarm equipment, including a lovely cardboard box, and headed to find them.

Some judicious clipping and shaking moments later, the bulk of the swarm -- really, nearly all -- were boxed up and wrapped in a favorite sheet I inherited from my grandmother. I actually think of her every time I use it. Wrapped swarms always look like presents.

Looks like no one's here. . .

But they are. So I poured them onto the waiting hive box.

One branch came along for the ride.

Nearly all of the bees poured out from the box now.

They spread like buzzing molasses. I even took a video but can't figure out how to get it to upload. Just imagine noise and movement and it will be just like it!

Always a few left in the box.

One good tap and there's a small blob still to go.

I slid the cover nearly closed. As it got later in the day, I figured they'd move inside the hive.

After spinning with my friends at the library, I came back to an empty box

And, presumably, a full hive. The hanger-outers might have concerned me but it is really warm.

Even the established hive has some outdoor activity at 8pm.

Esperanza said she's got another hive I can have if I want to do a cut out. Since three was my likely target (with four as a crazy possibility) it seems as though I'm finally going to have a bee season this year. The cool spring must really have delayed swarm season, as we're easily four months past normal time. Never dull.


Ribbit said...

Woohoo!!! Go bees! I've never seen a swarm before. Scary, but cool.

Unknown said...

Fascinating! I am sure they will be happy in their new home.

kitsapFG said...

The bee wrangler is back in business!

Stefaneener said...

Ribbit, they are powerful in a weird hippie way, but not very scary. When they're flying, that is. In a ball, they're just bees. Generally really benign -- no brood or stores to defend. They're just looking for a home.

GrafixMuse, I sure hope so.

kitsapFG, you betcha! Now if I can only remember my camera more often.

Lisa said...

Oh that's great! Glad you got the swarm.

Single Gal said...

That's neat that you did that by yourself. It if was up to me, I would have called animal or pest control, to do something with these bees.

michelle said...

There was a swarm that settled on my hillside a few weeks ago. It was so amazing to watch this cloud of bees gradually coalesce into a ball clinging to a bush. My neighbor has a friend who keeps bees so he was called in to collect the swarm. What a fascinating process to watch! I really have to get a hive or two started myself...

Stefaneener said...

Lisa, yep, things are finally rolling again, bee-wise. Hooray!

ZZ I bet there are beekeepers in your area who would gently remove them for you. Lots of people are freaked by bees.

michelle, I remember the first time I was in a swarm, before I started beekeeping. In fact, they were why. It was an almost transcendent experience to be surrounded by that vortex of bees. You so definitely should. I bet you'd be one of those rock star keepers.

Heiko said...

How fantastic! Neat the way you just pour them out. I saw a swarm a wee while ago, but they weren't sitting still in a branch. At first we thought it was a scooter coming up behind us. Eddie, the beagle giving them a good bark finally drove them on.

Single Gal said...

Oh yeah..a beekeeper.

It's probably really easier than it looks.

I'm sure there is a slow way that you can ease the bees to where you want them to go without getting hurt.

I guess it's a matter of wanting to find out for yourself or not, the easy way.

Carla said...

I love that you are saving the bees! I have a friend that removes hives from areas that they are not wanted in and then relocates them to bee keepers.

Just found your blog on Curbstone Valley Farms. Looking forward to following your adventures with bee keeping.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Wish I were brave enough to keep bees, they are so necessary for pollinating the garden.