One of our sponsors has been so excited about having bees at their house that he has purchased his own jacket so he can get in close, watch and sometimes help when we do inspections at their house. He's even asked to come on other inspection visits in order to learn more about bees. We love this enthusiasm. Enjoy these pictures of him and Mike doing inspections at our Willow Springs location. If you think he looks familiar, you probably spotted him in the last blog post about our visit in Inverness. He joined us there as well!
We have all kinds of sponsors. Some who are content to let us do our thing, others that want to be right in there with us.
We typically keep a spare bee-keeping jacket in the car with us when we go do hive inspections / site visits. So if you are ever feeling brave enough to get in there with us, or even to just get a closer look, you are more than welcome to suit up and dig in!
Recently, the teenage son of one of our sponsors and another sponsor of ours wanted to get into the hives with us. Here are some pictures of the hive inspection at our Inverness location!
Last week, we got a frantic text from one of our sponsors. "Oh Crap! There is a swarm!"
We hightailed it out to his house which took half an hour. He had watched a swarm land in his neighbor's tree. He did the legwork ahead of time, letting the neighbor know there was a swarm there and that he knew a bee-keeper who would be happy to catch the swarm and get them out of his yard for him.
Anyways, we get there and bring all our equipment out. There is a brief discussion as to how best to approach getting the swarm out of the top of the tree. Suddenly, there is a huge buzz and the swarm lifts off and starts heading across the street.
There is much swearing as all three of us try and follow the swarm. But instead of landing somewhere or the entire swarm heading in a purposeful direction, the bees seem very confused. Most of them head back to the tree where they had just been sitting.
We decide that we lost it and head back to collect our gear when I noticed there was a suspicious pile of bees at the base of the tree. My husband goes closer and there is the queen! There is a mad scramble as he runs to where we had all our equipment and up-ends his bucket of gear trying to find his queen-catcher or a queen cage.
There is success as he finds a queen cage. He runs back to the lump on the ground, picks up the queen, puts her in a cage, and then inserts the queen cage into a pre-arranged super. He then sets the box down near another clump of bees.
Instantly, they bees that were there all turn, face the box with the queen in it, stick their bottoms up into the air and start fanning. The clump of bees that we pulled the queen out of starts marching across the ground the 6 feet to the hive and they start fanning too.
For the next hour and a half, the rest of the swarm gradually leaves the tree and lands where we found the queen on the ground originally. They then march over to the box.
Just Bee Cause
Mike is the bee-keeper, Joanne is the photographer / record keeper, and Dale is our trusty mascot!