The swarm was in an acacia tree but 8 ft up? More like 8 ft over my head. But this has been one the KirkobeeO swarm warnings. They are never that close and never that easy. People just want them gone and see them in the most favorable light.
On the good side the Y had ladders. I had hopes of placing a nuc under the swarm and letting them crawl in. (It might have helped if I had remembered to bring a frame with the swarm lure on it or at least a can of Lemon Pledge.. live and learn.) The 8 ft ladder was no where near close enough and I could not hold the nuc and jerk the branch at the same time. Vicky, my Y contact, called in reinforcements and out came the 12 foot ladder. I forgot to note, this is in a parking lot and the trees are in little designer spaces with a curb. We were just able to squeeze the ladder onto the space without it toppling over with my favorite beekeeper aboard. I forgot to get his name but one of the Y-guys was stellar. They are all dressed in polo shirts and shorts. Once I offered my spare hat and veil, the magic armor, he stayed holding the ladder ready to assist long after his first sting. He did very well and I appreciated it immensely. Alas I did not go so far as to suggest he take pictures so they are very few.
One point, I am a certified senior citizen and over 6 ft tall. Anyone who has been 6 ft since jr high knows the problem. Your heaviest body part is your head and you have a very sensitive center of balance. As a kid you fall often, ladders are not your natural millieu. Add a knee that needs replacement and disaster can always rear its ugly head.
Relax, not disaster this day but movement up and down and on the ladder was severely restricted. Too bad there was no KirkoBeeO, house painter and ladder expert available. The Y had to get along with Old Bad Knees.
After the ladders were swapped out I make another journey up and sprayed the bees. The ladder was too tall to fit directly under the bees swarm and the rungs were too close together to have room for the nuc. I was limited to shoving the nuc up under the hive and hoping they would crawl in (Where was that d.... swarm lure when I needed it?) The bees were rather calm but did not accept the invitation.
Next move, I hung onto a branch, cut out one smaller one, placed the nuc under the swarm and tried to use the bee brush. Not very effective and the bees started to get annoyed. One point here, the veil works only if it is not touching skin. I kept readjusting the hat but I was jammed up in the tree branches and got at least three hits around my fore head. Tomorrow I may look like I belong to some tribe on
I finally dropped my brush and just used my hand to gently move the bees into the nuc. Well I thought I was gentle, apparently the bees had other ideas, they got more annoyed and more of them. My helper left the area and I did not blame him. . I stayed up as long as I could keep the nuc balanced with one hand and moving bees with the other.
There was no way to hold the nuc, hang onto the ladder and jerk the branch they were on and there were no larger limbs to use to tie the nuc under the swarm. I finally had to give up and took the nuc and set it on the ground under the tree. I had moved at least half of the bees into the nuc and no idea if I had the queen. I walked away and started to talk to the Y-people, they waved me away. I had 10 or more bees zooming around my head. Someone was not happy. I moved further away and eventually they seemed to leave. It was getting late, after 6P and the Y people left, some wanted to go home. I waited awhile, I was ready to take my gear and leave but the nuc was still crowded with bees. I went inside to let them know I would wait awhile before leaving but was stopped by a young lady who informed me I had some bees on my hat. Oooops I went outside and made sure I was clean of bees.
My contact came out, headed for home, I let her know I would pick up the bees in the nuc and the others might still be there in the AM. I had retrieved all I felt I could, the rest were on their own.
This is what was left, I estimated I had an equal amount or more in my nuc. The bees in the nuc did not seem to be interested in leaving. Maybe, just maybe the Queen had moved in. Night was approaching and my dogs were waiting for dinner. I loaded the nuc in the back of the truck, shut the lid, made sure the truck cabin was clear of bees left. When I got home I placed the nuc on my empty hive with the swarm lure and opened the bee hole on the front of the nuc.
I went in for dinner and a big martini.... all you can do is try.
I will take a picture in the morning and see who is there..