HERE THEY ARE
About a month ago I helped Patti Karwoski capture one of her swarms for the second time. It was a real adrenalin rush! See photos.
Then a week later my husband received a call at work noting a swarm in someone's tree in the Marquette downtown area. Since I had some experience, we decided to try to capture it for these concerned neighbors. We successfully directed about 80% of them into a box. Now we had a box of bees and nowhere to put them. In the excited rush of it all we hadn't thought it through. Joel saved the day! He was able to hook us up with someone who had lost his bees last winter. The bees were given to a good home. The next day we checked the original swarm tree and the remaining 20% had balled up there over night. Fearing that we hadn't captured the Queen, we cut the limb down and added it to the new home we found.
We had a rather exciting start to our 4th of July. Let’s start on the afternoon of July 3rd, ‘bout 4:30. Working out in the yard (not the bee yard – about 100, 150 feet away), I heard what seemed like louder-than-normal buzzing (understatement of the day!). Approaching the bee yard, I could see a lot of activity, but nothing that looked like a swarm…just sounded like what I’d expect a swarm to sound like.
Well, turns out it was a swarm - I just hadn't seen it initially. Saw it as a cloud of bees up high near some spruce, but then lost sight of it. Visiting family arrived & we were unable to give chase & couldn’t find them later. Chalked it up to lost bees.
Next morning, Kev was in the yard, heard a loud buzzing, hollered for me. “Was this what you saw yesterday?” Low & behold – “the cloud” was back & it appeared to be trying to get into a hive. Kev thought it might be a case of robbing. (Meantime, I’m calling beekeeping friends – Wendy & Phil – and looking through various bee books.) Short time later, the cloud moved away from the beeyard, but was close by. Eventually, they balled up onto a branch & we were able to retrieve them into another hive body. (Wendy, Phil, we did end up doing it in two batches, as the bees were balled up over two branches. Kev wanted to do it all in one shot, but I reasoned, cajoled, finally nagged until he listened to the Voice of Reason (mine!).) Attached a few pics that our neighbors & good friends, Tom & Barb Bach, took for us.