Now that was a surprise

Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:53 pm

We had our town's annual Moses Austin Days celebration this year, commemorating when he founded the town over 250 years ago. Our tractor club put on a pedal tractor pull for the smaller kids, plus there was a parade, so I hauled a cub and my scooter in yesterday, and since it is only 5 miles I drove the H in this morning and back home again this afternoon. When I pulled the H in between a cedar tree and the shed and shut it off and go get the cub, I heard a funny buzzing sound. When I looked around I saw this about 10 feet from my head.
Image

That swarm of bees is nearly the size of a basketball. Here is a closeup.
Image

No, I was not that close, my camera has a good zoom. :lol: Bees are in short supply here, so not wanting to disturb them I waited till nearly dark when they had settled down to start the tractor back up and put it in the shed. They paid no attention to my starting the tractor, but as I was parking it a brake squealed a little and 3 or 4 came out of the swarm, looked around, then went back. I guess the high pitch disturbed them a little. I made several calls trying to find a bee keeper to either come and get them or set a hive along my back fence , but no luck, one has retired, and the other is tied up for a couple days, guess I will just have to hope they settle nearby. They will probably leave tomorrow.

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:25 am

You're correct that they probably will be gone soon. :P The queen may not be there although I thought generally it was the old queen that swarmed and she would not need the services of the drones. Dad kept bees and would occasionally get a call to get a swarm. They are interesting little creatures but I don't like being near them. I like the results of their work however, both fruit and honey. Vern

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:17 am

John,

A keeper told me that they are the most peaceful when they swarm. Guess they don't care about anything else other than finding a new home. Might not be true for the African variety.

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:31 pm

The weather this morning was not condusive to low altitude flights, rainy and windy, so they were still here as of about 2 pm today. Friend who used to have bees told me that before they swarm they eat all the honey they can hold in order to have enough energy for the flight. That causes them to bee so stuffed they cannot bend their abdomen to sting. I decided to make a quick temporary hive in hopes I could get them to stay until some one could show up with a more permanent set up. A plastic milk crate lined on the inside with old cellulose ceiling tiles with the rough side turned in, outside coated with duct tape to turn rain for a while, and a few dabs of honey on the boards in front and on the cellulose lining inside. Looks crude, but hope it will work. It is setting under the edge of my loader shed about 25 feet from the swarm. Bad part is that if it works I will not be able to get my loader out till they are relocated.
Image

I was working to start a home for the bees and git wasp stung. Never saw the nest, but it must be some where close to where I put the temporary hive.

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:39 pm

John take he top off you're home made hive. Hold it under the swarm and shake the branch. They will fall into the box and stay until you can get someone to come for them. A swarm like that are the best bees to have due to the fact that they are local and will survive where purchased bees will not. Wish I lived closer. And I bet Don McCombs does also.

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:11 pm

Yep!

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:12 pm

Yep, I know that is the way people who deal with bees do it, or just cut the limb off and put it in a box, but I am a coward. I have never been stung by a bee, have been stung by wasps and used to be highly allergic to them. Bees are still there as of 8pm, which means they have been out of the hive at least a day and a half, they may not bee quite as docile now as they were yesterday.

Re: Now that was a surprise

Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:22 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:but I am a coward.

Get Scrivet to do it for you! :lol:

Re: Now that was a surprise

Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:38 am

Barnyard wrote:
John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:but I am a coward.

Get Scrivet to do it for you! :lol:
Now that is the best idea I have heard in this entire discussion. :{_}:

Re: Now that was a surprise

Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:31 pm

No more bees, I did some calling and found that the older brother of my best friend in high school is a bee keeper. I called him and in just a few minutes he was here. Looked like a pretty simple operation I could have done. but WON'T.