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Catching my first honey bee swarm.......Colorado

This is a long story. Most all if my stories will be :)


So..... I was on Facebook, looking at a Colorado beeking page in May 2020,

shortly after placing my first NUC of bees.

I saw this one gals post in this group, I could see in her profile picture she had these

beautifully painted hive bodies (pictured below).

So me being a total creeper, I privately messaged her and ask if she would paint one of my

hive bodies for me.

She lived a short distance south from me, so I went the next day and dropped off a new

white hive body for her to paint.


Becky was super nice and let me look at her hives and talked bees with me for a little while.

She said she would let me know when the hive body was done and

I assumed I wouldn't see her for a week or two.


48 hours after dropping off my hive body, Becky calls me.

I was assuming it was a question about paint choice or something.

NOPE!

She needed help catching her bees that swarmed to a tree just down the street from her house.

That put me in to a full fledge panic attack.

In my brain 🧠 "Hell no I don't wanna help catch 30k bees flying around all mad!"

Words that actually came out "I don't have a bee suit with me "

Becky "I have an extra!"

Me in my brain "SHIT"

What I actually said "I'll be down in 30 min"


So I got down to Becky's house to help with the swarm.

Becky is 6' tall, so she doesn't have small Bee suits laying around. To say I was swimming would be an understatement. It was comical though!

Becky had gotten all the detail of how to retrieve her swarm from her bee mentor.


Swarm Capture List

  • Big box with vents or screens for breathing. Must have way to close up box.

  • Large drop cloth, blanket or tarp. Something to catch the falling bees.

  • Don't skip this step. It will help you move more bees.

  • Smoker

  • Big Balls and zero common sense. Check!!!


Swarm
Swarm

So out we roll with a box, a tarp and small clue.

We laid down the tarp and placed a 6' ladder in the tree close to the swarm.

Once Becky was in place she told me to get the box and stand under the swarm with the box

above my head.

On my head "Excuse me? No!"

Becky asked if I would rather shake the bees out. I said "no" and grabbed the box.

So here I am in a beekeeper suit that is 2x to tall for me, 90°,

4pm with a filing box on my head, surrounded by 30,000 bees.


This is not what I imagined in school when they asked what you wanted to be when you grew up!

But here we are! Becky started shaking the branch the bees were clustered on. They dropped like a big ball into the box. Anyone that wasn't in the cluster came showering down on me like pea size hail.

Becky shook the tree branch a few more times to get any stragglers.

I set the box on the tarp and she climbed down to see if she had gotten the Queen.

It isn't easy to tell if you got the Queen every time. So we sat in the shade of the tree and watched the bees and listened to them swarming around us. Pretty soon you could see them marching into the box. We had her!

Once they started to March in, things calmed down and Becky said she didn't need my help anymore.

So I thanked her for the experience and headed home.

Below is the Queen with the Blue dot


It wasn't to long tell Becky called me.

She found out that once your bees swarm, you can't put them back in the same place.

They will leave again.

So Becky needed a new place for this hive to live. I told her I would check and see what a friend of mine says about hosting Becky's hive at her property in Loveland. I had just recently talked with my friend Lauri about bees, so I knew there was interest and space.

Lauri had recently bought some property in West Loveland.

She was quickly making her bear property into a beautiful homestead.

She welcomed the idea of the bees.

I told Becky I would help her go place them at Lauri's house that night.


Becky showed up about 8pm and we drove to Loveland. When we arrived it was past dark. Lauri guided us to the south end of her property to see if that location would be good for the bees.



Becky and I hopped out of her truck, and I introduced Lauri to Becky. Lauri has been my friend since 7th grade. We both moved to Berthoud when we were 13 and have stayed friends ever since. Becky was welcomed in like an old friend.


  1. We started by adding a few buckets of pea gravel so the bricks would be level.

  2. Then put 4 cinder blocks together like a hashtag #

  3. Black Vented Bottom board

  4. Then Deep hive body

  5. Entrance Reducer

  6. In this case another deep hive body (this was a large colony)

  7. Feader (sugar water for new swarms)

  8. Telescoping inner cover

  9. Top outside cover

  10. Brick


The second we placed the brick on top, the skies light up and it started to rain.

We had a good laugh at the weathers timing.

We said our "Goodbyes" and wrapped up to head home.

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