Saturday, May 5, 2012

First season bee swarm

In the midst of packing for today's home deliveries,  we received a very exciting call!  An apartment complex in medford has a bee swarm!

Not wanting to risk loosing the first swarm of the year,  we set aside egg packing to capture these bees. If we look a bit tired today on deliveries,  it was die to the necessary late night.

The swarm was beautiful!  The cool weather had calmed them nicely,. The swarm was about the size of a small basketball, resting about 15 feet up in a tree.  Fortunately it was centered on one main small branch and the owner was OK trimming the branch.  That made retrieval easy.

Quick trip up the ladder to trim around it,  then carefully snip off the branch and carry it down went smoothly.  A little trimmimg  and the whole swarm,  branch and all,  fit into the plastic box.  One more trip up the ladder to grab a few stragglers making a second swarm and we had most bees. I let the box sit cracked open to let a few more workers and scouts find their way end then sealed with duct tape.

The bees made it back to the farm healthy and happy.  Their new home is the give in the orchard which I had prepared about half open.   Imade sure only one access hole is open to help them defend against predators  like wasps,  and laid the branch covered with bees right inside.  After deliveries today we will open it and remove the branch.  I expect to see organization and the start of comb already.

If you see  any more swarms in the southern  Oregon area please call 541.826.4345 ASAP!  We want to give them a safe productive home with us at little sprouts!

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