OK dear people. I received a call yesterday afternoon about a swarm. I am keeping it a secret where the swarm is located. You will understand how ironic this is, how unusual that this would happen to me. Quite frankly this is hysterical.
My very own, first ever swarm and I went alone. But I could not have done it without the guidance of our very own master swarm catcher """JP""". JP gave me his cell number and I called him when I got the call. He guided me along the way about the technique to use and what to bring etc. When I got there I had a little trouble and I called him again and again and again and he helped me along.
I was very, very nervous, but I did feel confident that I knew what to do.
Well here is the secret
Of all places an umbrella!!!!! How funny is this !!!!!!
As you can see this is an afterswarm, very small swarm. Probably a virgin queen is what JP believes.
Below is the setup that JP suggested to me.
The swarm was hanging from a rope as you can see above and I grabbed the rope on top and shook the swarm into box and then set the box on the floor to catch the ones that did not fall in at first. Well I thought I got the queen as you can see from the photos below it looks like they are marching in to the box.
And here also
But although all the bees on the ground walked into this box, about 1/2 hour later it became apparent that the bees were all flying back up to the umbrella. So I tried again and they flew back up again. Finally the third time (this time I just grabbed the cluster and threw them into the box) and this time I believe I truly had the queen as you can see in the photos below they are doing that butt up in the air thing. There were a few bees doing this at the entrance although in the photo you can see only one or two.
I left and came back a couple hours later because there were still a few bees clustered on the umbrella and I wanted to get them all. I could not and it was getting dark and I had to leave so a few bees remained on that umbrella.
I now have them in a little medium nuc I bought from Brushy Mt. This afterswarm is way to tiny to survive on its own. I am feeding it now and tomorrow I will try to find a couple of frames of brood from my other hives. JP also suggested I place this swarm in the place of another strong hive so the returning foragers will go into this swarm and the numbers will build up.
This was an unbelievable experience for me. I was very, very happy doing the entire thing and I truly appreciate that JP made himself available to answer all my questions. He was so very supportive and very patient. That is the main thing for me, when I get nervous I want someone to be patient with me. He also is very wonderful to talk to, very soothing voice.
Thank you JP from the bottom of my heart for being there and walking me through this experience.
Now I hope and pray this little swarm will make it.