April 21st, 2006


Bee Swarm!!!

I got my first swarm call today, only a day after being posted onto the swarm chaser list! It's going be an interesting season! I met a lovely woman with a craftsman cottage near downtown San Jose, and removed a swarm from her lemon tree. She was so happy they were going to a place where they'd be taken care of.

It was---challenging. These bees were woven through the center mass of a very overgrown lemon tree. We ended up (we? me, with her permission, her watching from a safe distance) cutting out the 4-inch center branch of the tree, then cutting the subsidiaries it was entwined with. I kidded her about getting her lemon tree pruned. I ended up having to put on my veil, after all, because the bees would rise up and settle into my hair, every time we cut a branch. (I normally work unsuited, unveiled, gloves only.) It took two hours, but we finally got them. I got a couple minor stings from bees getting into the cuff of my gloves, before I got the rubber-bands cinched down over them, but no biggie.

They are now sitting in my backyard, with their box open into my hive, which has a feeder on top with some nice sugar water. I figure I'll see how they are in the morning, and if the queen is still on the branch inside the box, I'll deal with it then. Having the feeder might be enough to induce her to move, but I'm not betting on it. But I've had enough fun with this swarm for today. I really worked to get this one, and I'm TIRED.
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