My Serendipitous Swarm

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Sunday was a life changing day for me! I hadn’t really planned on adopting a honeybee colony until next spring, but a swarm happened in a friend’s neighborhood, and I ceased the day and went for it!

The swarm was hanging in a cluster the size of a soccer ball from a tree branch, minding its own business.  No one had really noticed it until my friend, Veronica spotted it and started telling everyone about it. She sent me a text Saturday late afternoon telling me about this swarm, and I figured it would be gone by morning, so I just let it go, but the next morning came and Veronica said it was still there!

The trouble the bees were having was finding a proper home, and I was ready to show up and provide that for them!  That morning I sent David to Murdoch’s to get me a full suit and gloves.  Another friend, Karin, referred me to an avid swarm collector, Brandy.  I gave Brandy the address of the swarm’s location and she met me there.

When I arrived I could see the swarm in the tree, just peacefully hanging onto the tree branch, and the scout bees were communicating directions to their sisters…I thought they may be close to taking flight again to find the home these scouts were waggling about, so I knew time was of the essence!

We set up a ladder, and Brandy handed me the swarm box. I reached up to the branch and gave it a good jolt to knock the cluster into the box.  It was thrilling!  All of those bees! Thousands of bees in one place!  Some clustered onto my suit on my left shoulder and I could feel their buzzing…such incredible energy! After about one hour of patiently waiting for most of the bees to realize the queen was in the box, I had the colony contained and ready to go to their new home!

We ventured over to “To Bee or Not To Bee” in Littleton to pick up the Langstroth hive, along with a few other things we needed.  That evening we transferred the colony to their new digs!

I would scoop them out onto the top of the box, and they would cluster onto my glove.  The energy I felt buzzing all over me was exciting to me, and none of them stung any part of my gear.  It was a peaceful transition from the swarm box to the hive. They seemed happy and ready to set up shop there, so we left them to rest until morning.

I have spent many minutes out on my deck watching this magnificent team of bees work nonstop, flying in and out of the hive.  I have to say I am very excited to have begun this journey this year rather than waiting until next spring!

Life is serendipitous sometimes, landing us right where we want to bee!