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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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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Impossible Swarm Day Two

I left the swarm all night with my swarm box with a ventilated hive cover on the top.  The cover was open 1/2 inch so that if the bees wanted to come into the box, they could.

I arrived at 7:30 before sunrise, although it was getting light, this morning.  A car was parked in the driveway - which had not been true the night before.  The bees I had scooped were clustered together in the box under the ventilated cover.

The majority of the swarm was still in the shrub.  This was not the scenario I had imagined, but as the sun came up, the scenario I HAD imagined began to come true.  As the sun came up, the bees in the box got all active.  The bees left the collection box and moved back to her Majesty in the shrub.  They used a branch as a bridge and all of them went across it as I watched.

Now I hadn't a clue as to what to do.  I drove home (less than 5 minutes), picked up a cardboard nuc box, loaded it with five medium frames of drawn comb, smeared the entry to the box with lemon grass oil.  I took it back to the swarm location.  I set the nuc box down with the entry near the shrub and left for my 9 AM appointment at my office with little hope for collecting this swarm.  Before I left I wrote a note and put it on windshield of the car in the driveway:

Dear Homeowner:

There is a swarm of bees in the shrub at the street end of your driveway.  
I am attempting to collect the bees.  All of my equipment and hopefully 
the bees will be gone at the end of the day.  Let me know if you have 
any questions.

Linda Tillman
Master Beekeeper

At noon I had a break so I drove back over to the swarm (10 minutes from my office).  There I found an empty collection box and bees all snuggling up to each other in the shrub.  No action at all in the nuc box.

Disgusted with all the time I had spent on this, I threw the collection box into the car and changed the position of the nuc box.

Again I returned to the office.  Around 5 PM I got an email from Anne, who had helped me with her flashlight last night.  She had walked by the swarm and saw the nuc box.  She said there were no bees on the shrub and bees flying in and out of the box!

My grandkids went home at 5:30 so I rode over to see for myself.  There were bees flying in and out of the box.  I decided to wait until dark to remove it. 

At 8:35, I drove back over and closed up the nuc box.

From the second photo, you can see that a ton of bees were not flying in and out.  Maybe there are only a handful in there and the rest flew off to a new home.

Anyway, I brought them home and set the box (which felt really light although I could hear an interior buzz) on an empty hive box until tomorrow when I will install it.  If there is a full hive of bees in it,  I'll let you know. 

I should have just set up the nuc box last night - could have saved myself a lot of stings!


  1. This is turning into a riveting saga, Linda! Thanks for posting all about it and I hope all the bees and HRH are in there tomorrow when you check.

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  3. ana arıyı kutuya aldığınız zaman bütün arılar girer.boş petek koymalısın.acaba arılarınızın cinsi nedir?


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