Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swarm: A Story in Pictures


the bad news: As you might have guessed, my hive swarmed yesterday.
the good news: I have a bee mentor and his name his Bill.
the even better news: He was able to come over at the drop of a hat, with his dog Murphy, and assess the situation.
the bad news: The bees were way up in one of our willow trees. Way up.
the even worse news: They were also over the pond.
the good news: Within three minutes Bill had a plan.
the even better news: We had all the necessary equipment to execute said plan...a ladder, rope, planks and a chainsaw.
the even better better news: Bill trimmed some dead branches from said willow tree.
the bad news: Said plan didn't entirely work.
the even worse news: The cluster of bees went for a swim.
the good news: Callie and Murphy were not in the pond at the same time as the bees.
the even better news: We were able to rescue a fair number of bees from the pond.
the bad news: I had to go into the pond on a rescue mission.
the even worse news: My iphone was in the back pocket of my coveralls.
the good news: We were able to place some bees in the new hive and a few started to make their way over there.
the bad news: Some began to cluster again up in the tree.
the good news: I didn't have to do any ironing or pack up the Easter decorations as planned last night because this took up most of our evening.
the it could go either way news: It's now just a waiting game to see if the queen didn't drown and if the bees like this new home, I so kindly provided. If we had left them, for certain they would have followed the scout bees this morning to a new home while we blew them kisses goodbye. In other words, we had nothing to lose by trying. I'd like to say it's a coin toss but the odds aren't that good but who knows anything could happen at Rural Revival. It already has.

~Much thanks to Bill, my debt and gratitude for your beekeeping mentorship continues to grow! And to the male twin for noticing 'a huge wasp nest up in our tree' in the first place.~

~Bee well friends~

Photo Credits:
Photo 8 ~ Bill, from his vantage point up in the willow
Photos 12,13,14 ~ The Girl Twin ~ I think we have another photographer in the family

You can find a swarm update here.


Deb said...

That swarm looks so scary to me! I hope all turns out well. Great photos!

Mary Gene Atwood said...

Oh that swarm freaks me out! Nice captures. Sorry about your phone.

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

Oh wow! That swarm is very intimidating. I can't even imagine dealing with this! Hopefully you've saved enough bees as well as the queen.

We had a swarm of bees come through a few years ago... since I was safely out of the way it was kind of amazing to watch. The flew across our place and the neighbors... at first I didn't know what the "cloud" was!

Good luck!

Stacy Uncorked said...

The swarm was scary looking! Glad you have a friend that could help you out! Here's hoping the queen bee wasn't in the pond...

The Cockatiel Project

Kimberly said...

OH. My. Honey...
My heart literally stopped with the pictures got closer!
But I do have to say that the photos are beautiful.

Katie said...

This is FANTASTIC. I love the photo collection and captures. What a great memory...despite the drama!

Dandy said...

I swear I learn something new every time I head over here!

I have the heeby jeebies after looking at that swarm

vintage grey said...

Wow, what a story!! So fun!! Hope they like their new home!! xo Heather

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

Yikes, I'm inches, inches I tell you, away from placing my bee supply order...oh, the things to worry about! So glad you captured them...hope the queen is cozy inside and all settles down. Makes me wonder if I'm ready for all this...back to my bee book! -Mary

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

eeek...seeing all those bees in one place is scary to me ;) :)...but I'm glad you were able to get them out of the trees and rescue some of them. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :)

Lynne said...

This is a first for me . . . oh my, I hope you didn't lose the queen!

Carla said...

OH My that is One TOO MANY Bees for me.
But nice photos

Sorry about the phone

Cheryl said...

Cool pictures!! Hope all is well with the bees!

Michelle said...

Sorry to hear your hive swarmed, but his is a fantastic photo essay of the drama!

A Wild Thing said...

Well, that was fun...there's always sumthin' huh!!!

Gail said...

Hopefully the queen is snug in her new home and she's okay.

Great job and wonderful photos.

Unknown said...

That's scary stuff! :) glad they're at least trying to go back home.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Dear Fellow Bee Girl,
Seems your bees thought you were up for a *real* challenge. Wow! Why couldn't they swarm over dry land?? Did you ask yourself this question over and over?? :) I think you and your team did great. My prayer is that your Queen did not drown and all is well. We still haven't checked our swarm capture for brood. Nor have we checked the recently installed package bees for brood. Slackers, we are. However, Monday is the day!! Keep us posted on your beeloveds!! ♥ Tammy

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

That swarm is creepy. Just sayin'.
You are brave.
Me? Not so much :)

Yay for bee mentors!!! And male twins! And female twins!

In all, I do believe your team was successful. Now about that Queen...
xo, misha