Sunday, July 4, 2010
Beekeepers to the Rescue
Friday morning I got a phone call from Jim, a fellow who lives about a mile away, who had a swarm of bees in his tree. Did I want them?
I told Jim I am a novice beekeeper and didn't have an extra hive box or any experience capturing a swarm but I would make a few calls and see if any other beekeepers wanted to capture them. Happily, my friend Joe agreed to drive up from Lanesboro for them. I was thrilled to see a swarm captured and I offered to assist and take photos.
Joe balanced the uncovered box on the top of the ladder, grasped the sapling and shook the tree hard. Most of the bees tumbled into the box.
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, Joe is tickled by youthful curiosity.
I plugged the bee entrances with grass so they couldn't get out on the way home. It is a very bumpy gravel road from Jim's house to our farm so I drove very slowly to try not to jostle the bees too much. When we got home, I carried the box out next to my hive, set it on a platform of concrete blocks and hoped for the best--the best being that the bees would settle in happily.
The next day I went out to check on the new bees and was disappointed to find the box was totally empty. They must have re-formed a swarm and taken off for a more appealing home. Darn. I hope they didn't head right back to Jim's yard!