I'm posting this in the gardening forum since bees are pollinators and without them we would have no gardens...
Yesterday, in my orderly (as orderly as it gets
) day, Wayne comes in and tells me I may have a bee problem - he's been out painting the lawn plantain with roundup
and is hearing all sorts of buzzing behind the garage. Sure enough - a huge cloud of bees with some already balling up on a branch of buckthorn! About 10-12 ft up in the tree. I'm sorry I did not take pictures from the beginning, but I wanted to capture them before they left.
I grabbed my veil and gloves, the nucleus hive box I am supposed to return from the bees I bought in May, some extra frames I had laying around, the frame feeder for the nuc box and the loppers. Husband helped me get a 15 foot section of extension ladder and we went to work - and kudos to the hubby: He has had very little to do with the bees, other than shelling out over $500 for equipment and bees (and still waiting for his honey
). He has no veil, no suit and was dressed only in scrubs. But he was in the thick of things with me since the tree, though high, was young and the ladder placement...well, let's just say, was precarious
He told me later, it was quite difficult to just stand there with the bees flying all around, many crawling on him and not run for the hills (I had assured him that honeybees in a swarm are very docile, intent only on getting into a new home - a fact I have read, but my experience is thin).
Here are the pics:
This is the tree they landed in - the orange circle shows the crotch that one side of the ladder sat in - the other side of the ladder was sort of just laying against some smaller branches - I really do not know what I was thinking
The purple circles show the limbs that I cut off to bring the mass of bees down the ladder.
This is the nucleus hive box that I'm using to temporarily house the bees (which means that over the next 2 weeks, I have to build another hive.)
This shows the bees both twitching their butts to broadcast scent to locate the hive and the bees entering the hive for the first time:
This shows the bees entering through the actual hive entrance for the first time. That they are entering the hive is a good sign that I have captured the queen and the hive will be viable. (At least, so I have read
This picture shows the inside of the hive box - on the left, the black thing with bees all over it is the frame feeder - that is filled with a 1:1 sugar to water syrup for feeding the bees. To the left are 4 frames with a wax coated plastic foundation stamped with the outline of honeycomb. Bees use this to build there comb into which they both raise their young and store honey and pollen.
This is the inside of the top cover - still covered with bees as they enter and explore their new home:
The only difference between this nucleus hive and a full size hive is size - once they have drawn comb on the foundation and filled at least 2 frames with eggs and larvae (called brood), maybe some honey, I will move these frames into a large hive box that holds 10 frames. Thus begins a new hive.
I still cannot believe I climbed that ladder into the buckthorn (I'm not keen on heights) and that hubby actually stood there in that cloud of bees, no veil and in short sleeves!