Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As I Was Saying

Before I was rudely interrupted, I was rambling on about an empty hive and tossed out comb. I had a dental appointment today near downtown LA which is near the LA Honey Store. I needed a reason to visit even if I did not have bees. It was a matter of keeping in touch with the Inner Buzz.
When I cleaned and rearranged the hive I left a bit of comb on the porch in the silly hope that it would attract a new set of occupant. There were some Lookie Lou's but no takers. I asked a the Bee Store and got this.

This small packet is a swarm lure. It is kept in the freezer until needed and then tacked or stapled inside the hive WITHOUT opening the package. On the way home I came to understand why. My truck was permeated with the aroma of Orange Blossoms or maybe Night blooming Jasmine. Being a work vehicle this was not a bad thing, a change in oudour is always appreciated but I did remove it from my shirt pocket.

I got home and laid the lure on the kitchen table and IT WORKED INSTANTLY.
I had an e-mail about a swarm that needed gathering in my area. Wow!! That was quick. I recommend this stuff to anyone..
The report was two swarms at a house in a trash container and then two swarms in two containers. I volunteered to ride to the rescue after failing to find any immediate help and after checking with Kirk (the Bee Guru) I got ready. I guess it is my personality or sign or something but I had a nuc, actually two of them, with frames at the ready. Kirk suggested adding comb.
When I cleaned the absconded hive I tossed most of the comb but not some of the nice clear with stuff. I was going to try it in my solar wax melter but this was better. I tied it into a comb, fixed some sugar water, added the rest of my equipment and I was off.
Kirk had warned me, bee calls are never what you expect. They can be better but are often worse. I showed up with a bucket to collect honey ( yeah sure) and two nucs in case this was really two big swarms. I was ready, maybe.
In an area where multi-unit structures are displacing the old beach cottages, this was an old collection of beach cottages. The caller, Terra waved and sent to me towards the back. One of the row of garbage cans had one of the "swarms which turned out to be a small bunch of bees on the side in a cluster smaller than my hand.
Is that it? Then she pointed out front. These are small units in a tight cluster. It was wise of her roll the other can out front away the homes.
This was the main swarm body and where I guessed the queen was. Not a lot of bees but more than were living in The Apiary in The Dale.
Time to go to work. Okay it is a swarm and the bees might be friendly but I have the fine bee suit and need to use it, the public demands it.. The crowd, Terra and her neighbor were very impressed.

I could not come up with a better solution so I sprayed the bees with sugar water, tilted the container and gave it several mighty whacks. The bees were sort of annoyed but the main group along with the queen seemed to have fallen into the nuc.
The bees had started a small bit of comb which I presented to Terra.
There were some that did not want to leave but I brush, cajoled and thumped most out. For the remainder I smoked the inside of the container and sealed the edge with duct tape and waited for them to join the real party.
This was a good experience, nothing I could not handle and an appreciative audience as I messed with bees and pontificated on the life of bees. The South Redondo problem is gone and my bee problem has been solved. Win win all around. Thanks Terra. As I spouted off waiting for the bees to settle in, I must have used most of what I remember from Beekeeping For Dummies. It sure was not from my wide experiences as a beek. I left some happy locals with a problem gone away and a few bees for The Dale. Later tonight after the bees have bedded down I will go add a baggie of sugar water on top of the frames. Normally I would not be inclined to do this but this is a small swarm and needs a little assistance.


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