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Virginia's NewBee Blog: Swarm!

It's been a BEEzy couple weeks!

A few days after receiving my second package (more on that another time), I got a call from a neighbor while I was at work. A bit unusual, so I checked the voicmail ...

... he had a swarm!

Immediately my mind began running, thinking of all the fascinating information from Ryan's Swarm Presentation. What could I do to get the swarm? I didn't have the extra equipment for a third hive, and I know sometimes these swarms act quickly. It would be hours before I'd have a chance to get there.

I called our beekeeping friend and told him there was a swarm (because, well, who would turn down free bees!?). He was also tied up at work until the evening, so we made plans that if the bees were still there around 6 o'clock, we'd go over and collect them.

Six o'clock rolled around and the bees were still there. In fact, my neighbor said, they 'got more friends.' It was on.

Our friend came with a vacuum cleverly rigged to a couple hive bodies.

Over the next half hour, I watched as he used the ever so gentle suction to capture the swarm. Once most of the swarm was captured, we turned off the vacuum and let some of the wonderers settle down on the branch to collect as much of the colony as possible.

Still a few stragglers tried to join the group through the screen on the top of the bee chamber. Our friend pointed out that one of the scouts had found a place - communicating it through a complex dance.

This colony now has a new home helping pollinate berries at his place!

Every time I interact with a colony, I become more and more fascinated with them. So organized and knowledgeable. So incredible!

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