Swarm season

It is high swarm season here! I had six swarm calls this last week. One of them got away before a keeper got there, another was carpenter bees. I was able to take one of the calls since it was just down the street from me. A few hours before taking this call, I happened to watch a video (https://youtu.be/qJZ1G81XT8g) and saw a tip, which I saved in my brain for later. I’ll share with a photo of the tip at the bottom of this post. I didn’t think I’d use the tip within the next few hours, so viewing when I did worked well for me.

Swarm calls rarely come when I (or most folks are) am free to get it. But it worked out this time. Walking up to it was cool:

swarm 5 20 16 walking to tree

Pretty low hanging fruit. Walking around to the other side of the tree showed how large the swarm was:

swarm 5 20 16 walking closer

The most difficult part of this swarm was the tree it chose. So many branches in the way. So many. So. Many. I shook what I could into a deep hive body. The rest were taken with this tip —

Position a deep frame of comb nearby and the bees will cover it in a minute.

swarm 5 20 16 deep frame of comb

The frame of comb worked so efficiently and could make lilac bushes, cherry trees, etc. very easy in the future. I waited until dusk to get all the straggler bees, then loaded them up:

swarm 5 20 16 in the van

After driving five minutes to my house, I had them set up in my backyard.

swarm 5 20 16 temporary home

Normally, swarms don’t get two deep bodies, but there were so many bees that I felt they needed space or would swarm again once morning arrived. They’ll move to another location in a few days.

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