Thursday, May 12, 2011

Swarm of Wild Bees

On Sunday afternoon, while we were cleaning up from dinner, Anna looked out the kitchen window and saw a huge swarm of bees in the field. This was the first time we had ever seen a swarm. It wasn't like a dark cloud...just hundreds of bees all buzzing together. We followed to see where they landed.


In spite of what you see in the movies, bees are not dangerous when they swarm. They are actually quite docile because they have no brood or hive to protect.

Of course...they landed high up in a tree! My neighbor was hoping they would land on a branch so we could easily cut the branch off...but instead, they landed as you can see in the photo. Allen and Maggie quickly checked their hives to see if these were their bees...but their hives were doing well. These are rare wild bees!

Allen set up some spare parts to make a temporary hive.

This is my neighbor, Chip, who grew up on a waterfront farm nearby. Chip knows everything about everything. He was a big help catching the bees. Chip was a hive hunter when he was a teen. The soft brush in his hand is what we used to brush the bees into the bucket to bring the them down. We were impressed that Chip didn't wear a bee suit. The smoker was on standby...but we didn't need it.



Maggie, Lizzie, and Allen took turns brushing the bees into the bucket and bringing them down to introduce them to the new hive.

Yes, they were up pretty high. Even though my hubby has his pilot's license, he has a fear of heights...and was more than happy to let his children climb the tree.

Here's a closeup. We hope to send a sample to the Maryland Bee Inspector to determine the strain of bee. (Our bees are all Italian bees.)

Steady there!

The aliens set up the beehive.

Everyone follows the queen bee's scent to the new hive. So fascinating!


So that is the story of our exciting weekend. It was the perfect Mother's Day gift. Now we would like to lure more hives into bait hives. We figure this new hive probably divided off another hive that got too big...so we'd like to find the original hive.


So once again, I am thankful to live on 23 acres in the woods where so many wild things happen! Many blessings ~ Kathie

1 comment:

Ora said...

what a story for this "city" girl to read about..bees are fascinating little critters...but I am better at enjoying the honey from the hive LOL...glad all worked out for the swarm and the hives you got from it all!!! that episode of fun would make a great children's booklet about bees!!! is there someone at your place to put it together...wow...and have it published!!!!??? Good Luck...hugs from Kentucky