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Author Topic: I fought the swarm... and I won  (Read 1102 times)

Offline wisconsin_cur

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I fought the swarm... and I won
« on: July 25, 2010, 11:16:13 PM »
I went out to pick some cucumbers today and heard a buzzing 70 yards away.  While I have never seen a hive swarm before it was pretty obvious what was happening as bees poured out from the hive in a cloud and drifted into the highest branches of a full grown oak.  After enjoying the awe of the moment I began to think. 

1)This is the hive that I trapped this spring.  They have plenty of room.  I wonder if they have some African genes or what the deal is.

2) There is no way they will be able to build comb and store enough honey for our winter.

and then I started thinking.

What do I have to loose if I shoot a few shells of fine shot into that cluster in that there tree?  If enough bees fall into the pasture, maybe the queen will fall and I can hive the swarm.  If I kill the queen, then perhaps the bees will drift back into other hives?  It seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Dramatized for effect (the bride wanted me to wear the veil during the re-enactment).

Over the next few minutes 30% of the bees dropped to the ground, 40% were in the air and 30% stayed on the branch.  This is the deal, those in the air did not go back to the branch but went back to the hive from which they left.  I went back after a couple of hours and the swarm was gone as well.

I assumed the queen was gone and since this hive was strong I combined it with a weaker one that I had (and needed to combine anyway).  I figure either the queen of the weak hive will take over (I'll requeen in the spring) or the virgin queen will take flight and mate soon.  Either way, I think it worked.  I hope time will prove me right.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Stubee

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Re: I fought the swarm... and I won
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 12:07:38 AM »
I see your shotgun is a Remington "Bee Master"  :roll:  :-D

Offline D Coates

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Re: I fought the swarm... and I won
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 10:25:14 AM »
I've hunted, shot, cleaned and cooked a lot of game in my life.  How do you clean and cook "bee"?
Ninja, is not in the dictionary.  Well played Ninja's, well played...

Offline hardwood

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Re: I fought the swarm... and I won
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 10:39:31 AM »
With a sponge and warm soapy water. At least that's how my bees like it their bath :-D

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline luvin honey

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Re: I fought the swarm... and I won
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 01:25:14 PM »
A friend was JUST telling me how her husband once shot a swarm branch off a tree :) Nice job!
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline greenbtree

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Re: I fought the swarm... and I won
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2010, 09:38:48 PM »
"How do you clean and cook bee?" 

Toothpicks and a fondue pot? :-D

"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"