Yesterday we got a swarm call and I did the retrieval since Jeff was busy. Jeff previously worked with the homeowner on a bee-tree that was in their yard.Last year they decided to leave the bees in the tree and so this year the tree pushed off a nice big swarm.
This was an unusual swarm call from a construction company doing work on one of the Cox South Buildings. The swarm was on top of a 50' tall building hanging on the ducting that spanned accross the roof. While the colony was not hard to remove it was a challenge to get all of our gear on top of the roof. In one of the gallery pictures you will see a yellow scaffolding stair case (we still had another ladder above that..lol). We had to crawl under the roof pipes twice to get to the swarm and leave it till dark to get as many bees as possible. Coming back at night to carry the hive down was also interesting.
Minutes after taking care of the swarm on the roof of Cox Hospital we got a call about another swarm two blocks away at another Cox building. This was a unique swarm, it was spread out all over the asphalt of the parking lot around cars. We believe the swarm landed on the hood of a car and then for some reason fell to the ground. Most people do not realize that it is not unusual for a swarm to land on the front of a car in fact its quite common. In this case the maintenance man believe in A Future With Bees and did not try to kill the bees. What he did do was make some sort of sugar water and spread it on the ground to give them food, not needed but appreciate his desire to help and not harm.
The Holiday Inn gave us a call about a huge group of honey bees near the entrace to the hotel on a rose bush. This was a pretty big swarm of bees and just to the right of the entrance to the hotel. The staff at the hotel was concerned that a guest would get stung and they did not want to injure any of their guests. We arrived to see the area blocked by barrier tape and nervous hotel staff that the bees were going to get them. On an interesting side note its amazing how many people who have never been stung say they are allergic.
In a quiet neighborhood near Springfield we got a call on a swarm in the backyard of a small house. The bees had been on the tree limb overnight and were about 8' in the air. This swarm was very compact and a bit cold since it was mid-April. This was a textbook capture. We put our box on the ground without a lid and added a separate medium super without frames inside. Jeff pushed a bucket up underneath and hit the limb hard enough for most of the mass to fall into the clean bucket.
So after going to a wake for a dear friend; my girlfriend, daughter and a friend of hers were on our way to dinner in Ash Grove. When we got the text and pictures of a swarm in Mt Vernon. So I quickly turned around and sped home to get my honeybee swarm ready truck. It was evening and a big storm was heading our way quickly. The girls followed me in their car and off we went to Mt Vernon. When we got to the church the pastor was there waiting in his car. I explained to him that this was a bee swarm and not to be scared of them. He tentatively listened to me and I got ready to work.