A few weeks back, we posted a note from Kevin letting you know what to do if you came upon a swarm of bees. Well, at about 4:30 pm today, we got a knock on our door from Curtis*, working at the John Stanford School across the street: there was a swarm of bees in the trees.
Now, for a beekeeper, a swarm of bees landing across the street is like free money (well, free money that you have to sweat for, and that you may well get stung for, but still…) If you can get them into a box and get them to stick around, you can nurture that hive into 8 gallons or more of honey per year. Pure gold.
I hurried out to my garage and dug out an empty hive body (one of the boxes that, when filled with frames of bees wax, stack up to make a traditional bee hive). From previous swarm catching, I had a board I had cut to the size of the box that I was able to screw on and I had an extra lid, so I had something I could shake the bees into and close up.
With the help of Nestor the school custodian, we requisitioned some ladders, sussed an approach and a plan, and I climbed up, put the open box underneath the clump of bees, shook them down in and closed it up.
They’re now happily (I hope) settling in to their new home in my backyard, along with my existing hives. One extra hive of bees, provided by the neighborhood. In honor of their origin, I pledge this year’s honey harvest from that hive as a fundraiser for the JSIS.
* Curtis, if I’ve got your name wrong, I’m sorry!