Saturday, April 23, 2011

Swarm Highway

Clearly the intersection of Moorpark Rd and L.A. Avenue is a popular rest stop for Moorpark swarms. Got a call yesterday from Charlie at the Fire Dept out there (same guy who called me on the swarm down below, the one draped around the small tree) with a swarm about 12 feet high in a shopping center immediately across the street from the previous one.

I didn't take any pix, but Charlie did so hopefully we'll have some. The short story is, they provided me with a 10-ft ladder, I used my limb saw to get rid of a few obstructive branches, and then I put a box under the swarm and shook them in.

Naturally I lost a lot of bees as I climbed down the ladder, before I could tape the box closed. So, I closed one up, waited a few minutes, and went up with another box and captured the sizeable glob of bees that had re-congregated in the same spot.

All in all a good capture, probably 4 lbs of bees or so. I hived them in a single 10-frame deep in my "remote" yard; a neighboring ranch. While I was there I checked in on the newly hived swarm from the chair (see below) which was just around the corner from this swarm's location (near the middle school, at the top of the map). They're hanging in, and appear to be doing well.

It's getting to where I'm getting at least one bee call a day. It's 50-50 between swarms and people calling because a swarm has already set up shop inside their walls, or hollow gazebo roof, or under the Spanish tile shingles... and I don't touch those. Just not worth it, no matter what I'd be able to charge.

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