Mountain View Swarm Removal – March 26, 2011

Received a call today from Carole a little after lunch while I was attending a Lockheed Martin Great America event with the family. I was kind of occupied when the call came in with getting my younger son onto one of those kiddie rides while holding him, umbrella, and phone. So I had to call her back when we left the amusement park around 2 PM. Carole said there were bees coming into her kitchen through the skylight and said there’s an existing bee colony about 10-15 feet in a tree right outside. I asked if there was a swarm but she didn’t think so as there were only a couple of bees that got inside. Puzzled me why the bees were entering so I scheduled a time to go check out the situation.

When I called back I found out that she lives only two blocks away from my parents! Awesome since I was headed over there for dinner tonight and we have bee equipment at my parent’s place including the suits and all the necessary tools to remove honey bees. When I arrived I told my dad that there is a bee situation a few blocks away and he came with me to check it out. We arrived and met Carole outside. She took us to the kitchen and I looked up, saw some bees flying outside through the skylight. So we headed out back and I headed up a ladder and was surprised to see a bee swarm all bunched up on her kitchen exhaust vent. It was a small swarm. My guess would be around 1 pound of bees. The colony in the tree was small as well with very little hollow in the tree to expand. Anyways, all excited we headed straight back to my parent’s to get a hive box and some gear to capture this swarm.

Got everything set up. I started scooping some bees with my hands, wearing gloves, looking for the queen and to hopefully get the bees to start marching into their new home. Second scoop I saw the queen. She tried to bury herself inside the worker bees but I caught her quickly in the Mann Lake Queen catcher. She was a small golden queen bee. Could be mated but unsure. Will find out in a week or so when I check on them. With the queen bee caught we brushed more bees to the entrance and then situated the box for the rest to go in. Left the box and went home for dinner. Came back after dinner around 7 PM to close up the entrance and take the girls to their new home.

This is only my second swarm this season. Other beekeepers in my area have already caught over five. Well, Wednesday and Thursday forecast says it’ll hit 70s! I’m going to have to put together more boxes and get ready for some more swarm removals this week!

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