Joined: Mar. 2007
Got a call that there was a bee swarm near one of our buildings this afternoon, so I went to see it. It was pretty cool, and a decent size swarm, as you can see.
We contacted the extension entomologist to see if anyone wanted to collect it (it is worth about $80-100 to a beekeeper). That question was answered in the affirmative, and so we helped collect them. That is a very high-tech process, involving a cardboard box and a couple of people shaking the branch to dislodge the bees, allowing the swarm (hopefully containing the queen) to drop into the box.
A chemistry prof (not shown) who is an amateur beekeeper was the lucky recipient. As the old English rhyme goes:
A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly.
We also found the parent hive from which this swarm originated; it is in a hollow branch of an oak tree about 30-40 feet from where this swarm was found. Maybe we'll get to find another one next spring!
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
- Pattiann Rogers