Daily Archives: May 2, 2012

Where the Wild Bees Are: catching a swarm

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Sunday night right before dinner the phone rang. It was my neighbor Michelle, ‘I was looking out my kitchen window and you have a swarm in one of your walnut trees!’ No way! She had just picked up her package of bees the day prior. Knowing that her aspirations were to capture a wild swarm for a second hive (as they seem to be common on this street, our other neighbor had two swarms taken from his property two weeks ago), I said, ‘Well come get them!’

As soon as I hung up the phone, I hollered out a family wide announcement of  ‘Put your shoes back on! We’re going back outside!’ Just to be sure we checked on our bees first, yep, still safely in their hives. It wasn’t ours that had made a run for it.
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Then we walked across the property to check out this swarm. Even with my miniscule, newly acquired bee knowledge, I know that wild swarms are quite docile. Bees, while searching for a new home are all too preoccupied with their house hunting to bother stinging anyone, so I got up close to check them out. Amazing, isn’t it? Somewhere in the middle is a queen. How does she not get crushed? How does she breath in there?
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Whilst we were in the middle of putting the three kids to bed, Michelle came over fully suited up and calmly dropped that buzzing ball of bees into a box and carried it home. Just like that. Pretty remarkable, isn’t she?
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Now they live in their temporary box with two frames of foundation to keep them occupied until she can make the run out to Beekind to pick up another hive box.
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Looking at the scenery around her bee yard, I think those wild bees, with the help of ‘realtor’ Michelle have found themselves a prime piece of real estate!

I am quite anxious to see how my two colonies of Italians, her ‘Local Survivor Stock’ colony, and her wild colony will all compare. Will any one be stronger than the other? Will their honey taste differently? Only time will tell.

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