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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swarm Catcher and My Worst Sting Ever

Today I went to my friend John's house to purchase his newest bee gadget, a swarm catcher.  It's quite a deal.  Here's John's picture of himself with the swarm catcher:

It's a plastic water jug on an extending handle that will extend up to 16 feet.  You put the jug under the swarm and scoop it up and dump it into a nuc box.

This device is made with an extending pole (the most expensive part of the gadget), an empty water cooler sized plastic bottle, 60 minute epoxy, and a paint handle to embed in the epoxy.  I can't wait to try it out (I'm getting too old for ladders!)

Here is a YouTube clip of how it works:

After purchasing this wonderful device, I asked to see John's beeyard. I haven't been there before. His hives are tall stacks, filled with honey. As we gazed at them in as friendly a way as two beekeepers can, a very UNFRIENDLY bee literally flew up my nose and stung me just below my nostril.

Made me think of Winnie the Pooh floating up in the air near a bee hive in a tree, who says to Christopher Robin:

"Christopher Robin!"  he said in a loud whisper,
"I think the bees suspect something!"
"What sort of thing?"
"I don't know, But something tells me that they're suspicious!"*

Now I've been a beekeeper for six years and have now been stung countless times. This was the most painful sting EVER. It was three hours ago and my nose still hurts almost as much as when it first was given to me by that unfriendly bee. I'm sure tomorrow I'll have a fat lip. I don't care about that, but wish the pain would go away.

I stand out in my own beeyards all the time with no protection and don't get stung. Guess John's bees were suspicious!

*from Winnie the Pooh, E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York, 1950, p. 13.


  1. Anonymous3:14 AM

    Having enough redundant empty hives is important.

  2. Ouch! That has to hurt; up the nose. Love the swarm catcher. People are so inventive! I loved you quote of Christopher Robin, very cute post.

  3. Linda Provoked the bee. I go out there all the time and no problems. Charlotte (my significant other) goes out and provokes the bees the same way Linda did. Must be a look thing. Not quiet sure how Linda and Charlotte manage to do that but it happens. I checked on Linda the next morning and her pain was gone and no fat lip. She will live. John Jones Stone Mountain, Georgia

  4. Funny guy - but I do love your swarm catcher!

  5. Linda,
    I got stung the other day too by just standing about 20 yards from my bees and observing. All of a sudden an aggressive guard bee started dive bombing and chasing me and then stung me on the shoulder. Totally unprovoked. The worst sting I ever got though was through my beesuit on my behind. That one swelled to the size of a grapefruit and was painfull for 3 days! It made sitting a real challenge. Who knew that bees could sting through the suit??

  6. Charlotte came out into the beeyard yesterday then came into the house fussing that a bee was chasing her. I ask her what it was with Linda T. and you about the beeyard. I went back out and no body bothered me. Went back inside and Charlotte came back in saying another bee was bothering her. I don't get it. I still feel bad about Linda visiting my yard for the first time and getting popped. However, based on what Linda said as it being the best sting ever I guess I have to be a little proud of being no. 1.
    John Jones Stone Mountain, Georgia

  7. The saddest part of the story is that the swarm I bought the swarm catcher to catch turned out to be a cut out in a house wall. Oh, well, should I get a swarm call this year (none yet this year, but cross your fingers), then I'll put it to use.

  8. Linda said that I get to much pleasure out of someone else discomfort (when they get stung). I guess she is right. I am just thankful usually there is no one around when my turn comes so no one will laugh at me. I am very sensitive and my feelings are hurt easily.....Ha!!
    John Jones - Stone Mountain, Ga.

  9. I think the bees know who their primary caregiver is! I was tending bees happily, helping a friend in her beeyard. She had to rush off, leaving me to finish up. I left the yard to get something, came back and two guard bees rushed out and gave me the business! I swear they knew their "mom" was not home and were wary of a lone stranger in their midst...


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