Monday, September 6, 2010

Tammy's Bees

Originally uploaded by dmb90260
I was just starting to organize my Labor Day possibilities when Tammy called.  She and Steve live in Huntington Beach and she knew about my bee life.  As fortune would have it, a nice sized swarm of feral bees had landed in a tree across from their house. My Labor Day now had a plan and the Bee Man was on the way to Huntington Beach.
Unlike most bee calls, her description was spot on.  It was in a tree but no over my head (instead of the usual call where bees 6 ft up are really 12 ft up.   This was a very nice sized swarm of small feral bees easily reachable.
 This is the way all swarm captures should go.   It was early and sun was not high so the bees were not overly active.   The only thing I needed was a small grooming table to hold the the nuc  and other equipment I used.
I removed two frames and eased the nuc over the largest mass of bees and then gave the tree a good shake.   The majority of bees were now in the nuc but there was another mass still attached to the tree.

I clipped the branches with the rest of the bees and let them fall into the nuc.

 I carefully trimmed those branches and shook the rest of the bees into the nuc.
When the branches were gone I added the other two frames and we left the bees to come in with the queen on their own time.  I was able to point out some bees fanning the air to get the queen smell out to the other bees.    After 30 minutes or so and a nice visit across the street,  we returned, put the screened lid on the nuc and I left with the bees.

The bees at home in The Dale, the palm frond is to keep light out since the nuc has a screened lid.   Now we will see if the bees stay or go looking for a better place.    I have had both things happen here.  If they stay, this will be a temporary stop, they will be moving in with some other Backwards Beekeeper. 
This was a great way to start the holiday, a visit with Tammy and Steve and the easiest kind of swarm capture there is, a non-laboring Labor Day.   I hope yours went as well.   Happy Labor Day.
The bees have a new home in Long Beach.  Rick picked them up after dark last night. 

It is a good idea to bring along any extra hats/veils and gloves when you go on a swarm capture.  Some people keep their distance but then you have those like Tammy who got into the middle of things and helped out.
Share the bees!!!

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