Friday, June 19, 2009

Bee Swarm Photos

Here are the swarm photos from last week. Thanks for your patience. The bees consolidated around two branches in an evergreen tree in our neighbor's yard. They were understandably a bit concerned by the thousands of bees zinging around their property. Fortunately, and unbeknownst to most folks, honeybees are quite gentle when they swarm as they have no hive [home] to defend and they have gorged themselves on honey. We didn't even use smoke, just a few squirts of sugar water on the hive to entice them in. Our girls were about 20 feet off the ground; too high for our ladders. I wish we had pictures of the actual swarm retrieval; but sadly, we were a bit preoccupied with other bee-related tasks. Papa perched on top of a ladder in a full bee suit and used several cutting devices attached to windsurfer masts. Once the branches were cut, he delicately lowered them to the ground and I placed the branches into their prepared box. Once the bees decided that the box was an acceptable new home, the workers align toward the hive and extend their abdomens in the air, fanning the release of Nasonov pheromones.