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 :-) 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 :-) I'm still on cloud nine. You'd think it were a 100# of bees if you were watching me on my way home :-D