Bee Swarm Box Rescue Video

I came home yesterday evening and there was a swarm about 25 feet up in the Ash tree.  I moved the truck under the cluster and got out the 20 foot ladder. Putting the ladder in the truck I got enough height without needing to use the extension ladder but it was very rickety.  I got a hive box ready and loaded the box with some drawn comb, some honey and a bit of lemon grass oil. I put an empty box on top so I had something to contain the bees do I could quickly dump the bees in and get the cover on quickly. Carefully climbing the ladder, I cut away some of the branches under the swarm to get some clearance so I could manipulate a 5 gallon pail underneath them.  After a couple of trips up and down the ladder I got about 90% of the bees down and into a hive.  I tried cutting the branch out of the tree but it was dead and snapped and I lost it.  The free fall caused the bees to fly off and they were not too happy.  Two got down under the cuff of my bee jack and they stung me on the wrist.  Trying to hold on to the dead branch when it snapped caused another to get me on the thumb.  By this time evening is approaching and it was starting to get a bit cloudy and windy.  Hoping that the swarm would migrate to their new home in the bed of the truck I went in and forgot about them.  This morning when I checked on the bees, interestingly about 75% of the bees that I got into the box were back up in the tree.  They actually moved a bit higher since I removed their original branch.  This time I tied the bucket to a pole and was able to scrape about 3 lbs of bees off the tree.  Three pounds of bees in bucket 30 feet in the air suddenly gets very heavy.  I strained to fight gravity and keep the bucket from slamming down.  I quickly dumped the bees into the hive and replaced the cover.  Another attempt got about another pound or so.  The day started to clear after a cool drizzly evening and the morning bought of heavy rain.  I decided to watch and the bees slowly left the box and flew back to the original cluster.  The definition of insanity is now echoing through my brain.  My thought is now perhaps instead of bring the bees to the hive bring the hive to the bees.  Early in the year I made a few nuk boxes.  I quickly put in the standard mix of frames with drawn comb, honey and a bit of lemon grass oil.  I screwed in some deck screws and tied on some close line cord.  I put an S-hook on the end of my pole and got it up in the tree right with one of the open ends against the cluster.  They are starting to slowly move in!  I will put the frames into the hive once the bees seem to settle into the box.  The tricky part will be getting the box plus bees down carefully.  I am thinking about using a few deck screws to carefully move the box slowly down the tree a few feet per day.  Stay tuned!

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