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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, May 9, 2014

Adventures In Catching A Swarm Of Bees - Part One

My mother and father have a bee hive in a tree in their front yard.  Each year the hive swarms and splits off at least once, sometimes twice.  The bees have probably been in this tree for five years or more.  They're always very docile and tolerate people very well.  My mother feeds them and occasionally you'll see some following her around as if to say "Here's the lady who feeds us."

Since we have decided to have a couple of hives on our farm, I told my mother to watch and let us know if her bees swarmed this year so  we could try to come and get them.  Well last Saturday I received the phone call,  "hurry and get to moms house the bees are swarming"!!  How exciting, Larry and I grabbed our bee gear and headed off.

When we got to town, my mother, father, brother in law and sister were all standing outside looking up at the mass of bees.
We all stood there for awhile and pondered the subject of how to best get a swarm of bees out of a tree....

Our first plan was to cut the limb from the ground,  after rethinking that for a few minuets we decided that wasn't the best idea.  I pictured the limb hitting the ground and complete carnage after that.  So on to plan two, bring in another ladder.

Our new plan was for me and Larry to both be on ladders, Larry would cut the limb and I would keep it from hitting the ground with force.  Not the greatest plan since the limb was heavier than what I could handle once it was cut.  Once Larry cut it I was able to let it down slowly, but it still hit the ground with some force.  When it hit all six of us were engulfed in bees. We all looked at each other wide eyed as if to say, "good bye family we are now going to die!"

As we stood there looking at each other in a hurricane of bees, we watched as in pretty quick time the bees went right back into a clump with the queen.  Amazingly not one person was stung. See the small box on the ground beside me, that's what we brought to put the bees in, kind of laughable now.  As I mentioned we don't know what we're doing.  Poor bees.
It didn't take us long to upgrade to a much bigger box.

We decided the best thing to do was cut off all the small limbs to make the big limb fit in a larger box.  The queen was on the limb and it seemed this would be the best way to transport them.

We put the limb in a bigger box, gave the bees a few minutes to fly inside and join their queen, then we closed the box.  Carefully we put them in the back of the truck and we were ready to transport them to their new home.
Holy cow, was that ever a heart pounding, frighting, exciting time.  Hard to believe no one was stung to death!
Stay tuned, next week I'll share, how get an angry swarm of bees out of big box.
Hope you enjoy the crazy thing that happen here at Chicken Scratch Poultry, there really isn't ever a dull moment!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun and exciting morning that was! We've also been noticing quite a few wild cats around the neighborhood lately. Would you be interested in coming to town to round them up and take them to the farm? HeeHaa just kidding!