LA Backwards Beekeeper Ruth writes:
On Friday I answered a call on the Bee Rescue Hotline to pick up a swarm near my house in Mid-City LA. Newbee Rob met me there to pick up the bees, and Ceebs took the pictures and offered words of wisdom.
The swarm was barely visible - the homeowner had to point it out to me.
From close up it was easier to see (it's on the right in the photo above).
While I put the nuc box together, and put some honey comb in it, Anne, the caller, watched and her girls danced around.
It turned out to be a bigger swarm than it looked. They just kept falling into that nuc.
After the first shakes, the bees flew back to nearby branches in little clusters. I picked them down
and shook them in with their kin in the box. After waiting for 5 minutes, I shook again. Then did that again!
They stay in the box because they stick close to their colony-mates.
The children watched from a safe distance. The downstairs neighbor too.
To make sure they wouldn't go back to that spot, I sprayed it with 50% vinegar water and left behind a little "Straggler Box" (in my hand), taped up with a small hole and honey comb in it. This will be the new bee-owner's responsibility to pick up. They are his bees now.
Anne will be a beekeeper in the future. For now, she watches and learns with her kids. She gave us some amazing
avocados from her tree as a thank-you! Thank you too, Anne!