How many of you have been involved in capturing a swarm of bees? If you haven’t done it, man… it’s a rush.
Back in January, I had the chance to capture a swarm of bees. My friend Allen the Beekeeper called me out of the blue while I was hanging out with my cousin Jen, a fellow homesteading/gardening enthusiast.
“Hey Dave – want to go catch some bees?”
My answer – of course – was yes.
The next morning we set off for a rental house in a residential neighborhood. The landlord had been told there were bees there, so she called Allen to get rid of them. Jen joined us and documented the experience with photos and video. (Final Cut is giving me fits right now. I’ll figure it out and post the video in the future… I hope).
Even though it was winter, the bees had swarmed – and then built a hive- right out in the open. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Right on the side of an oak, about 12′ up, there were perfect hanging pieces of comb, covered with bees – and filled with larvae and honey. Totally bizarre. I can’t figure out how they were surviving the cold out there.
I climbed up and cut them down as Allen rubber-banded them into hive frames, then put them in a nuc box. After that, we brushed as many bees as possible into the box and prayed we got the queen. (Well… I prayed. Allen’s a born-again pagan, so I suppose he willed good karma at it). At any rate, we boxed up all the bees we could get, then Allen installed them in my backyard.
Some days later, we busted open the box and found there was indeed a queen in there. Hurray for bees!
It’s been a few years since I kept bees… this was something I was really missing. Thanks to Allen and these batty out-of-season-swarmers, I’ve got ’em again.