The Jalapeno Tree - Swarm catch

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Hawk, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I received a call yesterday a.m. about a swarm that had been in a tree at a local Jalapeno Tree restaurant (about 10-15 miles away). The swarm had been in the tree since the day before, and the regional manager was afraid of customers being stung - they had tried getting someone through a local beekeeping club - but no response... I was there within the hour - knowing full well that if he called me at 11:30am on a calm, sunny day - that they could very well disappear before I got there.

    Sure enough - as I pulled into the parking lot - my daughter calls out "I see them!". I'm looking for the ball in a tree - but then she says - "They're flying!". Sure enough - a tornado whirlwind of bees is rising from the tree.. and I'm not even out of my car, yet.

    I sent Amber around to the other side of the building to see if they were visible - and she indicated that the swarm had moved to the top of the other side of the building. The restaurant manager gave me access to the roof-ladders on the back of the building - and I made the climb - up 3 ladder/roof levels with the swarm box. At the top - they were flying, still. As I set the box down onto an a/c unit - the bees were already landing on and entering the box. It was an amazing sight!

    I don't recall ever having such an EASY swarm catch. This was a BIG swarm. They completely filled the 5-frame nuc. and overflowed it at first - as they were getting their bearings.

    I returned later in the day, and screened the entrance shut, and lowered the nuc with a rope to the ground - and moved them to a nearby out-yard - where I went ahead and moved them to a full 10-frame Langstroth.

    Here's a few pics...

    Image1.jpg Image2.jpg Image3.jpg Image4.jpg Image5.jpg Image6.jpg Image7.jpg Image8.jpg Image9.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  2. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    And - here's the last few pics...

    Image10.jpg Image11.jpg Image12.jpg

    I only took one sting - that was after I'd scooped the bees up by hand to place them into the box while looking for the queen. After the sting, I went ahead and suited up since the sting pheromone was on my hand.

    A great day!
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "A great day"!

    I would say. :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
    Turns out you were the right person, at the right place, at the right time. Having them land in your box is kinda like having your cake, eating it too, followed by a nice frosty one!

    :coolphotos:
     
  4. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    Nice catching Hawk.Did you use any L.G.O. in your swarm box?I've watched a swarm in the air go into a box and it's pretty cool. And nice pics too.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Nice swarm Hawk. So the bees were going to swarm into the HVAC unit and you supplied them a more attractive location in the right spot at the right time. Some times it is good to be lucky.A few minutes later and they would have been hard to find. did you have lemongrass in the nuc to attract the bees? You saved some HVAC tec. a hole bunch of stings the guy would come to service the unit, disturb the bees and no fast exit route.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    My 5-frame nuc had 3-frames of old comb, 2 empty (foundationless) frames, and 3-4 drops of lemongrass oil underneath the lid.

    Yes - I think they had found a spot at an opening of the HVAC unit - that they liked... then the lemongrass caught their attention and focus - like a shiny object to a blackbird. I was definitely in a situation where timing worked out perfectly.
     
  7. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    BTW - When I returned to pick up the nuc, and transferred it to a 10-frame Lang - they had already started fixing the cells on the 3 frames of supplied comb, and drawing comb on the empty frames. WooHoo!
     
  8. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. :)
     
  9. JPthebeeman

    JPthebeeman New Member

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    Better keep an eye on those Jalapeño bees, they could get hot! :lol:

    Good catch and nice pics and the bonus was that your daughter was with you!


    ...JP
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Your post got me thinking Are you a member of the local bee club? The contact person could not be reached, or no one wanted to respond to the swarm call? Maybe a new contact person is needed for the club.
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Jp beat me to it, ha! Caliente Bees! Thanks for sharing those pics and glad to hear they are already being productive comb builders.
     
  12. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I am a member of 3 smaller clubs, plus the Texas Beekeeper's Assn. and Texas Honeybee Guild (2 clubs are local - and one is in East Texas). I really think that it was a matter of many of the club members being busy on this holiday weekend - or too elderly to want to bother with chasing swarms & doing cutouts. I think there's a good number of beekeepers that are new - and may be intimidated by the thought of chasing after bees in the wild & doing cutouts, etc.

    I get personal phone calls and emails from one of the club contacts for removals - as well as from the Tx Honeybee Guild. Those are much appreciated, and I thank them every time I get a call - and when I've completed the work I follow up with them to let him know that the customer has been taken care of.

    The other club - is really more hobbyists that may have 1-2 hives in a back yard - and they aren't too interested (for the most part) in approaching hive removals & swarm calls.

    I know that there's only one person in the East Texas Beekeeper's assn. who has been doing removals - and he's looking to retire from that sort of work. I think I get some of their overflow calls. I get 2-3 calls from East Texas per week for removals. I'm not in East Texas any more, so my schedule rarely allows me the opportunity to turn those calls into sales (for removals).
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    very, very cool hawk, and awesome photographs! :grin: