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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I began my 11th year of beekeeping in April 2016. Now there are about 1275 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.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

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. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. (678) 597-8443

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Capturing a Swarm 2013

Today I was driving home from Rabun County and one of my friends, Patty Engstrom, called me.  She had a swarm of bees in her holly bush and wanted to see if I'd like to come get it.  My WAZE on my iPhone said I would be home by 10:22 so I told Patty I'd be at her house to get the swarm before 11:30.

The swarm was HUGE.  I had taken a banker's box rather than a nuc box because she had described it as about 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide.  It looked like a basketball with a witches cap on either end. But it was hot in Atlanta today so I started worrying about such a large swarm in a banker's box with #8 hardware cloth over each of the handle openings.

I laid down a sheet to catch any bees that missed the box and strategically placed the box directly under the swarm.  Patty lent me her shears to clip of the holly branches that were in the way.

The bees marched into the box to join the queen and were almost completely in the box about 30 minutes after shaking the branch.  Julia came over to meet me and brought me a screened top to put over the box so they wouldn't be so hot.  She also brought some sugar syrup spray - since in my hurry I left mine at home.

The swarm was so huge that it dislodged the hardware over one of the hand holds - so my car was full of loose bees as I drove home.  I installed it into a two box 8 frame hive because it was too large for one medium box.  Then I spent a long time brushing loose bees into a Tupperware pitcher and carrying them to the backyard to dump them into the hive!

The slide show is below for your enjoyment.  If you click directly on the slideshow, you'll be able to read the captions.

3 comments:

  1. Linda..that is awesome and I learned something. I am a new bee keeper and have caught two swarms this week. Twice! We were fortunate enough to be around when they swarmed!

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  2. Amazing photos!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing ♥♥♥♥♥

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  3. I just love collecting swarms! I meet the nicest people, and feel like I'm helping the bees.

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