April 10th, 2010 Bee Swarm

A little after 2pm on Saturday I received a call from a lady who had taken a beekeeping class from the same instructor I took a bee catching class from.  She was given a list of those of us who took the class, went down the list until someone answered.

I was very excited to be able to assist in gathering a swarm.  I grabbed my oldest boy, who took the class with me and off we went.

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We arrived at the swarm with some tape for the box and some small branch trimmers.  My boy was safely dressed in jeans and a jacket, I in a tee-shirt and jeans.  No protective gear, the class taught that we wouldn’t need any.

We arrived, placed the cardboard box under the swarm, clipped the branch and lowered the bulk of the swarm into the box.

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We watched for a few minutes and realized that the bees wanted out of the box.  We then looked around and saw that there was a small cluster of bees still on the bush.  We shook the bees of the branch and then the bees wanted in the box.  We had gathered the queen!

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This was a natural swarm from a hive in a tree in Greenway Park near Washington Square Mall.  The lady I assisted was very excited to get her first bees in this way and was purchasing a Top-bar hive to keep them in.  Somewhere around 20,000 bees were collected, one was accidentally crushed in closing the box due to inexperience, but no one was stung. 

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