Today I captured a swarm. Of bees. Twice.
Swarming is a natural phenomenon. Curious folk often ask Why do they do that? about swarming. It’s just because the hive has gotten overcrowded, congested, so part of it splits off with a new queen to find a new home.
There’s a reason bees have been around for millions of years. They know what they’re doing. Until we come along and fuck it all up. That’s another post.
Anyhoo, so I get a call from C who’s been told the bees have swarmed on the roof near our existing hives. It’s my first foray into the world of solo swarm capture, and I’m excited. I’ve been a part of many swarm captures before, but never on my own.
Let’s DO THIS.
I get all suited up, get the deep in place, spray my sugar water, and plop, in they go. If the queen drops into the box, then the rest will follow. To see what happens when the queen doesn’t go in the first time, see here. (That’s C and our friend J capturing a swarm that now lives on the roof.)
But yes! The queen went in! And the rest filed after, dutifully! I waited until there were only a few buzzing around, then moved the hive to its new location. Squiggled out of the bee suit, packed up, drove off.
Two hours later, I get another call. There’s a swarm of bees at a main DTLA corner and tonight’s artwalk and the bees are under a restaurant table and this needs to get fixed and fast.
So I go back. And do it all again. And just as before, it’s pretty darn thrilling.
I mean, they’re just amazing little creatures. See how so many of them have their wee bee bottoms up in the air? They’re fanning their wings like crazy, to tell the rest of the hive to Come on! This is the place!
And you know what? The rest of the hive is like, Okay!
I’ve never seen such an orderly procession of bees. They traipsed down the table leg and marched across the pavement and scuttled into the nuc box. Wow. Everyone watching had their gosh darn minds blown.
It was a collective nature-is-AWESOME gasp.
So that was my Thursday.