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Nicotine Bee Swarm

digital camera   movie

 

We went on a swarm call the other day to a house in east Springfield, MO. The caller has a bee tree in their yard with a nice colony of bees about 20' off the ground. Well its swarm season and apparently these guys want a little nicotine in there diet lol. The swarm was hanging under a metal patio table and connected to an ash tray full of cigarettes. Yeah first thought was ewww and second thought  "Free Bees!",  lol.

After I captured the swarm I realized I forgot to video the adventure. Then a week later I get this excited call from the homeowner "They're Back!" and yes not only are they back with another swarm but its in the exact same place connected to the same ash tray. This time I took pics and the landowner helped with a quick video. Nothing fancy but it shows the simple steps:

1. place your box as close as possible under the swarm

2. give the branch, table or attached object a quick impact to dislodge the swarm

3. put the hive as close as possible to the original swarm location

4. put on the lid and let the bees fan the rest inside the hive

 

A few lessons learned in catching swarms:

1. dont brush the bees unless you have to

2. leave the box till evening / dark to get them all inside

3. a sharp knock of them off is much better than multiple soft ones

4. a frame of drawn comb with sugar water sprayed inside helps a lot

5. cut the limb and lay it on top if you can (they will just crawl inside)

6. feed them to enhance comb building

7. write down the home owners info and bring them honey in the fall

Swarms are easy but expect the unexpected:

  • sometimes they just suddenly leave - your hive or the swarm location
  • adapt your approach to capture the bees - sometimes I use a bucket and knock them in and pour into the hive
  • most swarms are not aggressive if you are careful
  • find the queen and all is good
  • once they start fanning at the hive entrance let them do the work

 

 #savethebees #bees #afuturewithbees

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