I had a call yesterday from a bloke who said he had a swarm hanging off a car port. It had been there overnight. He said that it was fairly big.. ooooops he should have said pretty big.
Anyhow I rocked up with my catching gear, cardboard box, styrofoam vax, and a deep.... oooops should have taken more boxes.. it was the biggest swarm I had ever seen :shock:
It was hanging just as he said from a car port about 7' off the ground. It looked a nice swarm... around 12-14" in diameter cone shaped and about 15-18" deep.
So I got the cardboard box underneath it and pressed it up over the swarm.. ok everything looked fine. Then I gave the support a wrap.... oooooops!
The swarm fell into the box with a thump, the box went off balance and fell to the ground and suddenly I had thousands of angry bees.
Talk about angry! I was glad that I had a veil on and was wearing long pants and a long sleeved pullover.
Captain Courageous to the rescue, I gathered all that were not flying and taped the box up, then scooped the rest of the swarm into the deep, then I vacuumed the rest into the styro box. Never the less my hands look like those of a cabbage patch doll and I have some quite red spots where they got in through the leg of my pants before I taped them up. Reckon I got about 30-40 stings.
Got them home and tipped them into the deep and put frames of foundation in with them.
2 hours later the ungrateful wretches swarmed again. They landed in my mandarin tree. So I boxed them again only to realise that they
didn't have enough room in 1 deep so luckily I had one more deep that I put on top with a few more frames... ran out of frames.... ooops
Anyhow to cut a long story short, they must be happy and I must have queenie. They are flying today and seem happy enough this evening... it is now going on dusk now.
Well a few lessons from this expedition. I have had about 1/2 dozen calls for swarms and I have run out or resources and space and it is only the 4th day of spring. I am going to have to take my name off the swarm list for a while.. can't cope with what I am getting.
I am thinking that this swarm must be from a feral colony from a tree or something like that as it is too big to have come from a hive. Most beeks that I know here use queen excluders over the top of the brood box so I don't think it came from there.
Would be interested to know your thoughts