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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.

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.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. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

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Tuesday, April 02, 2024

April Fool's Day Swarm Capture

 My bee club Metro Atlanta Beekeepers has a SWARM COMMANDER, Dave Marshall. He fields all the calls that come in (812-369-0401) about swarms in the Atlanta area. He has a list of over 50 beekeepers who have signed up to collect swarms. Each has registered his/her wishes as to how far one will go to get a swarm; how high one will climb to get a swarm; how experienced one is in catching swarms, etc. Then as calls come in, he texts those of us on the list based on our position on the list and with all of those preferences in mind.

Lucky me, on April Fool's Day, Dave texted me about this swarm at Emory. I live only fifteen minutes from the location (that's saying something in huge Atlanta) and I will not at age 75 go up on ladders. This was the perfect swarm for me since it was on a picnic table and so close to my house, so I hopped in my car and headed to Emory. They had already called Orkin who was on the scene when I telephoned the woman who called Dave. Orkin would not spray the bees but would "call a professional" to come and get them (and charge Emory, of course). Laura Hunt, the person who called Dave, said I would come for free. I spoke to an Emory rep who was there and assured him that I was qualified (a Master Beekeeper and past president of the Ga Beekeepers Association who had kept bees for nineteen years) so he agreed for me to come and rescue the swarm.

There's a church on the Emory campus nearby where feral bees live in a tree. A groundskeeper who had noticed the swarm at 8 that morning said the tree bees had swarmed before, were within a football field's distance (how far a queen might fly) and these probably came from there. It was a small swarm and I'm guessing it was a secondary swarm with a virgin queen. It's bigger than it looks because the bees were tightly packed and wrapped around the pole near the table top edge.

Collecting it was a challenge (like the one I collected from a mailbox last year) and I don't have it filmed well because I didn't have my tripod, but here is the YouTube video of the collection and installation:

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