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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 05 2008,06:42   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 29 2008,15:19)
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!

I had a very similar experience 15 years ago. I returned from work one cool spring evening to find a large swarm nestled under one of the eves of my house. We called an exterminator, but they suggested bee keepers. An elderly couple arrived with a box and a broom. They climbed out a window onto the porch roof below the eve, dislodged the swarm with the broom and it dropped into the box.


I was amazed.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  2219 replies since Jan. 24 2008,14:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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