Received a swarm call last night after I put the kids to bed. It was just a few miles away in Los Altos so I thought I’d give it a go. Drove to Mountain View to pick up my dad and loaded the truck with our swarm gear along with our 12 feet ladder.
Arrived at 9 PM and walked to the backyard to check out where the swarm was. It looked high but I wasn’t sure how high until I got started. The 12 feet ladder was no where close to reaching the bees. My guess the swarm was 20 feet high and it was hanging sorta in the center of a plum tree but on the outside, like an A-shape and they were at the top. If it was on the outside edge, overhanging, I could have easily shook them into a box. But no, this swarm was tucked in well and they were gathers in a cluster on multiple branches which make it even harder.
We had to run home to get the bee vac with all the extensions I have along with another pole and bucket for backup. Got back and vacuumed up a good amount of bees but the branches and leaves made it impossible to get to them all. So at the end I used the bucket and pole method to shake the remainder of the bees.
At the end I think we got about 3/4 or more of the swarm. Normally it only takes 1 hour or less but it took three hours for this swarm call!!! We left at midnight. I got home and worked on my full time job until 2 AM. I’m beat today! Will inspect the bees today to see if we got the queen or not. Will most likely also return to the house to see if the bees that were displaced clustered back up or not so I can collect them as well. I have a couple of pictures but obviously it was late and I haven’t had a chance to take them off of the camera yet.