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Author Topic: My First Swarm - Simple Story/Picture  (Read 819 times)
jeremy_c
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Location: Summit Co, Ohio


« on: June 11, 2009, 12:10:23 PM »

I've gotten 3 calls so far to come get swarms. I was able to determine not to go out on the first two... 1 was a hive built between a persons chimney and house toward the peek of their roof, the second was a yellow jacket hive, not a honey bee swarm. The third was indeed a honey bee swarm!

It arrived around 4pm yesterday in a residential area of Barberton, Ohio. I got a call at 6:15pm from Mike who use to be an exterminator letting me know that there is a honey bee swarm. I, however, was not at home and silly me, didn't check the messages until that evening before I went to bed at 10pm. Well, I called anyway but got an answering machine. I decided to get everything together in hopes that tomorrow morning I could make contact, that he didn't call someone else, that the swarm was still there, etc... Well, all of that just worked out!

I spoke to him at 7:15am and was at his place at 7:30am. It turns out that the swarm was in his neighbors yard, but his neighbor was very happy that I was there to remove the hive. His grandchildren were coming to spend the weekend and he was concerned about that many bees being in his backyard. Both have heard about the problems with the honey bees and neither wanted to kill the bees, so I was a perfect solution to them and their swarm was the perfect for me smiley Who says there is no win-win situations?

The swarm was described to me as 6" wide and about 2' tall, which seemed pretty accurate to me when I went to see it. I didn't measure it or anything. Here is the best picture I have that gives some type of context, but I think it makes the swarm look smaller than it really is because my hand is so close to the camera.



The swarm was centered on the fence, so that much was sticking out on the other side as well.

as you can see they were intertwined into the fence and also intertwined with the rose bush. Further, the rose bush was intertwined with the fence. To get the swarm, I started clipping away at vegetation that was in my way, I got a clear look (clear as possible) at what was going on and decided to clip the bottom of the rose bush first, then the top. Once I did that, I was expecting some play, but nothing. It was as if it were still attached. I then began clipping more things in more places with no luck. I finally decided to try and pull the main twig up gently freeing it from some of the intertwining that was going on with the fence. This allowed me to bend over the top 1/3 of the twig w/o setting too many bees airborne.

I then bent it over, clipped it off and put that bunch into the hive. Now, the next best place to take the biggest bang for the buck was the bottom. I did something similar and put them in the hive (Langstroth hive). What was left was the middle section that were not on any twig but were intertwined with the fence. I had no clue what to do, so I took my bee brush and brushed them in clumps into the hive. This actually worked pretty well! I was thinking I'd have hundreds of bees airborne. Sure, many were flying after that, but not as many as I had thought.

Some landed on the ground of course but by that time bees have already started fanning the hive scent to them. It wasn't exactly an army march for the hive entrance, but for the next 30-40 minutes, they all made their way to the hive.

All in all, I counted about 10 bees that just didn't want to go in the hive, so they got left behind. Thunderstorms were coming in and I didn't think it would be too good of an environment to be catching a swarm in.

Over all, I am one excited dude! It could have been an apple sized swarm and I'd still be pumped, but wow... This was quite fun! I am sure they are not all as easy as this one was but this was my first one and I'm glad it was a simple one.

Thanks to all those who have helped me learn all I have on this forum. No way would I have been out catching a swarm this morning if it weren't for this forum.

Oh... I do have a question. Anyone wanna guess at pounds of bees? I cannot see how this could fit in the containers my 3# of bees came in, but I may have a fishers ruler in this case smiley I'm still on cloud nine. You'd think it were a 100# of bees if you were watching me on my way home grin

Jeremy
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Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.
riverrat
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 12:25:13 PM »

congrats on a nice swarm capture.
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
G3farms
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Location: concord, tn


« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 12:28:43 PM »

way to go and congrats on your first swarm, and all by yourself to boot. catching swarms is such a confidence builder.

I just love to watch them start fanning and marching in, it makes me smile and giggle to this very day.

good job and good pic.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
jeremy_c
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Location: Summit Co, Ohio


« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 01:16:52 PM »

Just uploaded this post as well as a video to my blog for those interested in seeing the video. It's nothing too exciting, just a typical swarm capture, but I have family reading my blog and this is all new to them.

http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/permalink/48482.html

Jeremy
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Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.
AGM
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Location: Central Arkansas


« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 01:37:14 PM »

Jeremy great video. Thanks.
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G3farms
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Location: concord, tn


« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 01:41:35 PM »

great video and I'm glad to see your young helper is not afraid of the bees either.

great job and that will be some good memories for you and your helper for years to come.

I carry an old white bed sheet with me to catch swarms like that. Put the sheet on the ground and then place the hive on top of it. Give them a good hard shake to make them fall into the hive, the ones that land on the sheet have an easier time of marching into the hive rather than down in the grass and leaves. Just my way of doing it, it works for me anyway.

good job and glad to see your bee yard growing.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
NasalSponge
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 01:58:54 PM »

I am soo glad you got your first...I know you have been chomping at the bit for one. One thing I do that makes this part of the job simple is to use hive staples and staple the brood box to the bottom board.....one less thing to worry about....anywho...Nice catch!! grin
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