The Bee Guys

This is so amazing! To continue my last post, the bee guys arrived. The fellow in the dark t-shirt is our neighbor who is a first-year beekeeper. He has a huge vegetable garden (read: half a farm) but I didn’t know he’d started to keep bees. The swarm is from one of his bee boxes. The fellow in the light shirt is an experienced beekeeper who is teaching our neighbor about beekeeping.

They brought a bee box, a bed sheet and various tree-trimming tools. They laid the sheet on the ground and placed the bee box on it and proceeded to trim the branches of the tree that were in the way of reaching the swarm.

Trimming around the swarm

Trimming around the swarm

Then they carefully cut off several smaller branches that had sub-swarms (for want of a better word) on them and shook the bees onto the sheet in front of the bee box. The box has beeswax in it and that attracts the bees into the box.

A small "sub-swarm"

A small “sub-swarm”

Then they put on their netted bee hats and cut the branch with the large swarm.

Cutting off the branch with the main swarm

Cutting off the branch with the main swarm

Safely down the ladder...

Safely down the ladder…

It's huge!

It’s huge!

Holding the branch near the bee box, they lightly shook the bees from the branch onto the sheet.

"Here's your new home, bees."

“Here’s your new home, bees.”

The swarm checks out it's new house

The swarm checks out it’s new house

Now all that’s left to do is wait for them to move into their new house.

Watching them move in

Watching them move in

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17 Comments

Filed under Nature

17 responses to “The Bee Guys

  1. Wow – this is absolutely brilliant. So amazing to see the guys so calm with all the bees buzzing around them. Great post!

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    • Ann

      Thank you! Yes – they were very calm and careful. They hadn’t even brought their bee hats along and had to go back for them after they saw how tricky it would be to cut that branch without antagonizing the bees. It was so amazing to see this whole process from the beginning of the swarm to establishing the bee colony in its new home!

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  3. Jim

    Very interesting. Thanks. My brother in law does this sort of thing, but I have never watched it, nor does he photo-document the process. What an excellent bunch of bees. And talented bee wranglers.

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    • Ann

      Thank you, Jim! I hope you get the chance to watch sometime – photos just don’t capture the amazingness of the whole thing!

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  4. At the risk of sounding like an adolescent girl: OMG! Very cool photos and an even cooler process! But it’s not for me — I don’t think I would be able to be so close to that many bees, especially without headgear and wearing a t-shirt.

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    • Ann

      Thanks, Kevin! I don’t think I could do it either – these guys were so calm and and slow. I’m a jump-right-in, too-much-coffee kind of person.

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  5. wow!! a great photographic story Ann!!

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  6. good job with the reporting/recording. a few years back Betty noted a swarm on a tree branch at our place. (pix are sumwear, dusty) — we should’a called THOSE GUYS !

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    • Ann

      You should have called someone. I guess a bee swarm is kind of valuable. There were several people who stopped and asked if they were our bees before the bee guys came. Scare up those pix – I would love to see them!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. I had no idea how bee owners could just lure their beehive into the wooden house.

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    • Ann

      I didn’t know any of this either – I am glad the guys were patient with all my clicking and questioning. I sure learned a lot! And I am hoping that my neighbor is so successful with his beekeeping operation that he has too much honey for his own family and is compelled to sell some. 😉

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  8. Amazing. I never could do this!

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  9. Pingback: Honeybee Swarm | The Republic of Ann

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