Showing posts from April, 2016

Another Swarm

My friend Jamaica has been wanting to keep bees for ages.  She and I work together, and she recently moved into an adorable house just around the corner from me.   I loaned her a beehive, and we both put out the word that we were looking for swarms.  Jamaica came over this afternoon to help me with the bees I'd picked up a few weeks back. Shortly after she left, the always-awesome Yolanda from Pollinate Farm and Garden gave me a call, alerting me to a swarm just a few miles away.  An observant neighbor has seen a swarm of bees settle on a fallen tree limb. Unfortunately, the tree limb was too large to move or cut, and was laying on the ground inside of a massive rose bush.  With the homeowners' permission, I cut a tunnel into the rose bush, and climbed inside.  There wasn't enough room to fit my swarm collecting box under the tree limb, so the neighbor and I brushed and scooped the bees into the box. I carry an extra bee suit when I collect swarms. It's always great to

Bees, Once Again!

It has been over a year since Robb and I kept bees. Our colonies had dwindled, and my work schedule was simply too hectic to allow me to chase after swarms.  This spring, I asked my friends to keep an eye out for swarms. As it turned out, friends-of-friends (who also happened to live quite nearby) had a colony of bees that was throwing off swarms. On Sunday, I picked up a massive swarm of bees with almost no effort. (This never happens.) Beekeeper Laurie had already coaxed the bees into a "nuc" box (basically, a mini beehive), and all I had to do was wait until sundown, when bees go to bed. Once they'd settled, I would close the entrance to the box, wrap the whole thing in bedsheets, and drive them to my house. A few thousand bees in my car: what could possibly go wrong? Few things are more enjoyable than sitting in a beautifully maintained garden, watching the sun set over the waters of the San Francisco Bay. The bees took a while to retire. And my wait was very pleasant