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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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Where the Wild Bees Are: catching a swarm

  1. how very cool! maybe someday I will do bees, something that never ever crossed my mind until I am watching you do it! thanks so much

  2. This is better than National Geographic! I am so envious of the abundance of nature. Thanks so much for posting!

  3. Laurie

    Not only was the tale fun to read, but the photo of the surrounding hills added to my “imaginings”…such a lovely place! Good luck to you and Michelle!

  4. Oh my gooooodness!! That is so amazing – I am grinning from ear to ear reading this post. – Boy you are all so brave with your bees!!
    And I can not wait to hear about the honey comparisons – and see the photos of the different colours…,

    I adore your blog….*sigh*

  5. Oh wow! After watching the bee movies on Netflix, I find this so encouraging for the bee population!!

  6. Wow, this is so cool. I’m glad you are working to help and keep bees. I’ve never seen a swarm. I don’t know if I would be so calm.

  7. Wow. Don’t think I have the courage for such stuff.

  8. Swarms are so much fun. You know, I’ve had four hives, all from the same feral stock, perform really differently. They’re a puzzle.

  9. Awesome! I have always considered trying bees but I have no knowledge. I love hearing about your bee adventures. So how did she actually pick up the bees? Did she use a sheet or something or did she just use her gloved hands to transfer them into the box?

    • asonomagarden

      Brooke, she just lightly shook the branch and they fell into the box. Then she waited a bit for the leftover to clump back on the branch and swept those up with a clump of grass into the box. She did that a few times until she got every last little one!

  10. angeljeanne

    nope sorry I am allergic to the wee bastards so I just watch my pees and ques however we do need Bees to help keep things going, have lost so many bees around the states which means no fruit, or flowers, sad but it was found that too much pest-asides are being used. You just have fun with yours take care HUGS and Cheers angeljeanne (jeanne) xoox

  11. birchbarksoap

    That is AMAZING! I’m so glad that you shared. I’ve never seen a swarm in person. And I’m glad you had someone with space just for them. :)

  12. This is so fascinating! It’s encouraging, too, with news of bee and hive deaths, to hear that y’all have such lively healthy colonies. Tx!

  13. Love it! Glad it was a pretty easy swarm to access and learn on.

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