Got a call today about a swarm on a trailer in a Barnes & Noble distribution warehouse. Of course, the bees are at the top of the 13' 6" trailer, and I'm at work. I have a small car, so I don't carry a ladder with me. I follow a coworker home...her husband has an A frame ladder that I can use. I'm figuring 8, 10 feet. Nope. It's a 5 foot ladder. I'm 6 feet tall, so 2 feet over my head could be worse.
Well. I get there, sign in with the guard, and go to collect the bees. Looks like an unusually small swarm. Then I look down, and someone has managed to knock half the swarm to the ground and sprayed them with pesticides. I was livid, but from the stains, they only sprayed what fell to the ground, they didn't spray the whole swarm.
I used my precarious ladder to collect most of the remaining swarm, and at that point, one of their truckers comes over and offers me a boost on his truck with my ladder. It helped a bit, but by that point, I was really planning on leaving the stragglers. But to show gratitude for his help (he was so afraid of the bees, he barely cracked his window to talk to me...and I was without a veil by that point, and in short sleeves), I tried to get as many of the remaining bees into my box, without falling.
I figure i got 3 lb of bees, could easily have been 5 if they hadn;t killed so many. I have them in my basement and will merge them with one of my hives in the morning. I wanted to wait and make sure these didn't have some low level pesticide exposure before combining them with one of my healthy hives.