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Got a call from a fellow bee keeper. Said he had a swarm he couldn't get. It had been raining hard with thunder and lighting plus some hail off and on all day. I tell him I'll be over as soon as I can get my stuff loaded up and the rain stops.
It was sprinkling a tiny bit as I unloaded the gear and about a half hour latter they are in the new hive as the rain starts again with a vengince. I had jumped in the truck and left the gen set running along with the vac to dry out faster being warm.
I didn't get pictures of that one cause I didn't want to waste toime with the weather being what it was.

Then on the 11th I get another one plus one on Mothers day.

Adding to the list of equipment list swarm collecting.
Lady calls 5-11-12 says she has a honey bee swarm in a tree at her front door. Said they were about 15 feet high when I asked the question how high. We finish up what we were doing at that bee yard go back home to load up the equipment I felt we needed. The vac set up, hoses, the Mutla ladder that is a 10 foot step ladder or a 24 foot extntion ladder. Now I'm not a short person or a really tall fellow at 6'1".
When I get there I see a cluster of bees about 10 pounds worth out on a tree limb nearly to the tip. I ask if I can prune a few branches under it so I can see what I'm doing better. Lady says I can cut away all I need to, So another piece of equpiment is my extention pole pruner, as some I just could not reach with the normal loppers I carry so I had to work around the leaves that kept trying to clog the vac up. Since this swarm was really about 20 feet up it was impossiable for me to reach even if I could have stood on the very top rung of the ladder. Lucky I use a old scotts garden cultvator to pull stuff from the front of the truck to the rear where I can reach it. I removed the handle from the cultvator and taped the vac hose to it so I could reach the swarm, just barely. Take the adjustable painters pole that will reach 24 feet.
Also since I was up on nearly the last rung of the ladder holding on to the nearst branch for support I decided that my climbing/deer stand harness should also go with about 50' of rope strong enough to hold my fat azz so I don't fall.

Any way we got them in the hive, Kare had said they had found the 6 deeps of honey in the truck when she came back with the bottle of water I asked for. I was shocked to see hundreds of bees in the truck when we took the hive to load up after we loaded all the other gear up and closed the topper door we had another hundred or so circleing the windows I had opened for ventalation with screens.

Lots of woods in the area, I tell the lady she had a bee tree in there some place.
She then tells me the story of the swarming honey bees. She was out on their pond in a little row boat catching some fish for supper when a swarm comes over her head kind of scareing her so she went ashore. She said that swarm milled about over the pond for a bit then flew off into the woods south west of the house before they totaly disapeared her comes the second swarm that landed in her front door tree.
when I got the the swarm collection bee yard I open up the back of the truck so the hunderds of bees could get out and we could remove the swarm to its stand. Of the 5 swarms we had collected so far this year I feel they will make their home with one of them.

I think if you look above the ladder you can spot the swarm.



A good sized cluster.





Sunday we go and celabrate Mothers day at Kare's moms home. They had built a new Krogers store there about 3 years ago closeing a small run down one sort of out in no mans land (between a town and several small villages.)
Krogers is a grocery chain here in Michigan one of the better ones with veggies fruits meats dairy and all the dry goods you could every want.

The time to leave Mom so she could take her nap and not be to tired out for her doctors appointment early Monday came. Chuck & Di left first then Kare & I were going, I steped out the door and the cell rings It's a swarm call about 25 miles away at a ladies home where I had collected a swarm in 2008. she said she had two swarms in bushes in her yard and had called the bee keeper who has hive in the area 3 times with out a responce did I want them.
I tell her yes I'll take them and should be there with in an hour as I had to go home collect my equipment since Kare had drove. I knew there was a reason I told Kare I was going to drive my truck so I could leave for a swarm!!!. We head for home,didn't get far and the cell rings since Kare decided to drive I could answer it. It is DI and she said they had a swarm at Krogers. I tell her I'm already on a call for two swarms so Krogers would have to fend for them selves I gussed.

All most home and the cell rings again, the lady with the two swarms said the bee keeper finally called her back and said he was going to come get them. that lady called me because she worrys they will find a way into her house or they will fly away where some idiot will spray them.
I tell Kare lest load the stuff in the truck to collect a swarm and go check out the Krogers swarm.
We get there and the area around the swarm is blocked off with grocery carts. I send Kare into Krogers to see if they have a bee keeper coming to get them. They tell her no so just remove them. Kare goes into the Dollar Tree store and asked if they had called any one. They tell her no besides it is Krogers parking lot.

I unload the gen set, the vac, the hoses and set the hive up and suck up the bees a bit over 7 feet high up.

Drew a lot of attention only one person came over to use and asked a bunch of questions, said his sister in Denver had just got bees this year.

I bet a lot of cell phone pictures were taken too.









A smaller swarm about two pounds of bees I figured. this Krogers is the North anchor store of a strip mall. Seems as Krogers owns the other stores and collects rent from those who have shops there.

The manager came out when we were about half done said to go in to customer service when we finished. He wanted our Number in case some thing like that happened again. It does too I've collected 3 swarms from a apartment complex.
When we had finished and loaded up we went in there and gave the lady our contact information. They were really nice and gave us a $20.00 gift card.
Almost like finding a 100.00 dollar bill in the parking lot. I tell Kare we should split the gift with her sister who called and told us about the swarms. She was happy to get the 10 spot and told Kare the bees were still swirling around in th eair and making that loud buzzing when they left. She didn't even know if they had landed. She said people were scared to death men screeming like little girls women screaming causeing little kids to cry.

So to show people they need not fear I dressed in my long pants T shirt and base ball cap I clean them up.

:D Al
 
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