Sunday, April 3, 2011

A LIttle Night Work

The first job of the day was a modification to the Mighty Bee Vac.  The flip gate where the bee intake tube goes works very well but it could have been accidently knocked open during transport. Stever vary carefully attached a nice brass closure to prevent that from happening.  This was a small job that took a lot of time but was the occasion for very pleasant visit with Steve and his wife Cheryl. 
When I got home much later in the day there was a message on the Backwards Beekeepers Bee Rescue Hot Line about a swam in a tree in Carson.   That was only 15 minutes from my house and Backwards Beek Roberta was going there.  I offered to assist.
Ron, Nancy, Erin & Patty was very interested in what was going on.  They stayed out with us well after dark,  Ron provided a nice light which was big help.
Since the swarm, rugby ball size, was in a bush we clipped the branches to gain access.  Then clipped a few more so Roberta could jam the nuc up under the hive.  One big yank of the bush and many of the bees were inside.   We waited but could not determine if the queen was in the box.   A bit later and one more yank and we had her and most of her escorts in the box.

All in all, an easy capture once the branches were out of the way.  However there are issues with handling bees in the dark.  The main one is you cannot see many of the bees not in the box.   These bees were not aggressive at all but they ended up in wrong places and you could not spot them.  At one point Roberta handed me something I had dropped and that included a bee that nailed me.  Later one was crawling inside my sleeve and got me. After everything was loaded and bee suit off, I headed home with bees in the back of my pickup.  Well, most of them.  As I drove down the freeway something hit one of my fingers, I was able to spot the bee resting on the window which I opened quickly and freed him.  After I got home the dogs ended up capturing a bee that had come in with me.  No more stings but adventures I usually do not have when it is daylight.
These bees will be moving to Hollywood today for their new home.  Here's hoping they decide to stay.  About half of the captured swarms decide they can find a better place.  No guarantees with these bugs.  

Another case closed by the Backwards Beekeepers Rescue (Team Roberta)


yannis said...

If you give the swarms a frame of open brood and some feeding they never leave

Dennis In The Dale said...

That works very well with a cutout but I have limited or zero access to brood for swarm captures. I can keep only a couple of hives in my limited space and one of them is not strong. Due to local restrictions I keep a very low bee profile.