First I want to tell you all what exactly a swarm of bees is and why it happens. If a group of wild bees or a captive hive of bees in someone's bee yard gets too full and they don't have enough room to expand they either leave completely or split in half to go find a new bigger home. When they leave they are virtually harmless. I know this may sound weird but their goal in life now until they find a new home is to protect their queen. So that's why when they swarm you see them in a ball or a cluster. The queen is in the center of that cluster. They have scout bees going and finding new homes but until then they end up in trees, fences, your yard, and virtually anywhere they can form their cluster until they get a home.
I want you all to know that if you find a swarm please don't be afraid. They most likely won't sting you if you go around them. I have seen guys with their bare hands reach in and grab a handful of bees and not get stung once. But If you do find a swarm and know of a beekeeper in your area PLEASE CALL THEM!!!! Beekeepers live to catch swarms. They catching them because it's fun, they get a new hive of bees which can cost up to $100, and the bees may be wild bees which are hardier and are better honey producers. But I guarantee you that they will be right over. Plus if anyone in your family is allergic to bees they would be happy to help you out!
A Beekeeper (me) ready to help!! ;)
So after I got over to his house I was expecting a little cluster maybe a softball or melon sized but when I arrived it was a cluster about as big or bigger than a basketball!! That is about 30,000-40,000 bees!
Since there were more bees than I expected instead of using my box to put majority of the bees in I borrowed their trash can with a snap on lid to catch the majority of the bees.
After I shook them into the trash can there were hundreds of bees flying all around our heads! I did use the cardboard box to get a few of the stragglers so that I got as many bees as I could to make a decent sized hive.
Me taping up the box with some duct tape. I poked a bunch of air holes so that they had some circulation. I then put both the trash can and box in the backseat and passenger seat of my car. My Ag teacher was a little skeptical of this but I
hoped knew they were sealed up tight enough they wouldn't get out. That would have made one interesting trip home if they all escaped. You would have gotten a nice show of some crazy person running around with bees trying to sting her alongside the road.
The whole trash can was lined with thousands of bees!
So after I got home I set up a new hive next to my other hives with 2 deep brood (where they make babies and honey for themselves for winter). One of the brood boxes had frames and the other one was empty so I could funnel them down into the hive. I hit the side of the trash can so they all gathered on the bottom and then just dumped them in and knocked them all out of the trash can.
Then I did the same with the little box. But I guessed that the queen was in the trash can by the way the bees were acting. Then I quickly shut the lid and hoped the queen was in there so they start making babies!
You can see them flying around in the air.
I hope this was a learning opportunity. I have really enjoyed beekeeping over the past 3 years and really try to encourage others to get involved with it because it is such a great hobby that the whole family can get involved with. If you have any questions about what was going on in the pictures or something I said that you didn't quite understand please feel free to ask I love answering questions about beekeeping. No question is a stupid question!
Have a Great weekend. I will post later on to let you know if they stayed or not and their progress over the summer if they stay!!