Swarm season is here

As nighttime temperatures rise above 50 deg. F. for several days straight – the bees are able to start producing wax.  This generally coincides with some of the nectar flow in plants starting – and a big buildup of brood in the hive.

I received a call yesterday a.m. about a swarm that had been in a tree at a local Jalapeno Tree restaurant (about 10-15 miles away). The swarm had been in the tree since the day before, and the regional manager was afraid of customers being stung – they had tried getting someone through a local beekeeping club – but no response… I was there within the hour – knowing full well that if he called me at 11:30am on a calm, sunny day – that they could very well disappear before I got there.

Sure enough – as I pulled into the parking lot – my daughter calls out “I see them!”. I’m looking for the ball in a tree – but then she says – “They’re flying!”. Sure enough – a tornado whirlwind of bees is rising from the tree.. and I’m not even out of my car, yet.

I sent Amber around to the other side of the building to see if they were visible – and she indicated that the swarm had moved to the top of the other side of the building. The restaurant manager gave me access to the roof-ladders on the back of the building – and I made the climb – up 3 ladder/roof levels with the swarm box. At the top – they were flying, still. As I set the box down onto an a/c unit – the bees were already landing on and entering the box. It was an amazing sight!

I don’t recall ever having such an EASY swarm catch. This was a BIG swarm. They completely filled the 5-frame nuc. and overflowed it at first – as they were getting their bearings.

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I returned later in the day, and screened the entrance shut, and lowered the nuc with a rope to the ground – and moved them to a nearby out-yard – where I went ahead and moved them to a full 10-frame Langstroth.Image6Image5Image9Image10Image11Image12

For those curious as to what I have in my swarm trap… I used 3-frames of drawn old-comb, 2 empty (foundationless) frames, and 2-3 drops of lemongrass oil under the lid of the box.

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