Friday, August 26, 2011

The Swarm

We've been talking about getting a bee hive, and as soon as you say something like that, coincidences start happening.  Our neighbors had a swarm end up in their front yard!  The whole thing is pretty quick.  Essentially, the hive gets overfull.  The queen leaves, a bunch of bees follow, creating a swarm.  As it turns out, this is their most docile time.  They don't have a hive to protect.  So, the hive moved in next door.  Our neighbors have young children, and responsibly, were going to try to eradicate the insects, until, well, Kirsty stepped in.  Save the bees!! She calls our local bee keeper club, and starts calling numbers until a keeper asks a few questions about: Where is it?  is it accessible?  How big is the swarm?  How long has it been there?  After hoping we had the right answers, they are on their way.  This picture is of the swarm, before the guys arrived.

Here's the beekeeper with his self made bee catcher.  Essentially, on the other end of the box is the same hose, connecting to a shop vac.  The keeper 'vacuums' the hive, sucking the bees into the box.  He knows he has the queen, when the remaining bees start swarming his box.  They said this hive was about 2,500-3,000 bees, a relatively small swarm.  He got nearly every one of them!

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