Look what I found in my Orchard!

This has just GOT to be a good sign in terms of my pollination chances with my fruit trees, watermelons and other blooming things! I’ve been wanting to get a few been hives so this might bode well for my chances of getting them serviced. Plus, its just plain cool to me. Obviously I’d prefer they would find an actual home and stick around, but even a temporary swarm like this makes me feel like pollination may be one problem I won’t have! First time I’ve ever seen this, especially on my property. You can’t tell much from the photo, but its about the size of a basketball and, strangely, almost perfectly shaped like a heart! It is literally 20 feet from my orchard. :smile:

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Nice swarm!

Wow!That’s very cool looking. Brady

Set a hive (or temporarily even something like a cardboard box, although that can complicate later transers) underneath the branch, give the branch one good vigorous shake, and they might stay.

I love to see a swarm of bees! If you had a hive to shake them off in front of they would line up and March right in.

you guys are killing me. Since I found this a few hours ago I’ve been considering ways of trying to create an instant hive but figured it would never work. Now you’ve got me wondering again. I was considering dropping them into one of those big plastic storage bins (giant Tupperware). They are still there tonight- just checked on them with flashlight (I’m kinda fascinated by this since its my first swarm and I LOVE bees). I am pretty sure I could clip both sides of limb and get the vast majority in the plastic bin. I could take several honey stings if it comes to that. But what could I do then?
I really don’t want to rush out and buy a hive and try to figure all that out in the next few days. And even if I got them in the bin, I doubt they’d be able to make honey. Of course I could cut small holes/slits to let them come and go. But I’d have no frames. I wonder if I just cut some pieces of hardware cloth (ie metal screen with approx. 1/4 inch squares) up inside, would that give them enough of a structure to work with? Or just a bunch of sticks?

Oh well…its a pretty crazy idea and one I should not pursue I guess. The last thing I’d want to do is kill thousands of pollinators and I’m going to learn to keep bees in 3 days. So unless someone thinks it could be a lot easier than I do and has suggestions, I will just let nature be! It’s still been a blessing to get to see them up close and know they are at lest in my area!

You’ve had the thrill of seeing the swarm in your orchard. That’s the biggie

One type of hive is called a top bar hive. It’s not much more than a casket shaped box with sticks resting along the top edge for them to use as a base for comb building. Of course, there’s a bit more involved than just that, but not much. Like a way to go in and out, lid, and a divider that gets moved along inside as they need more room. It’s simple, quick, and cheap as far as hives go.

I’m not a top bar style user, but thought you might like to hear about it.

Beesource.com is, in my opinion, the best bee forum and resource around. You can ask questions there. It’s a trustworthy site.

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Oh, don’t try gathering them at night. Even though bees in a swarm are about as docile as they get, bees don’t like to be disturbed when it’s dark.

Bees in a swarm are easy, they like wood though. Even though i don’t keep bees any longer I keep one hive on hand just in case. I also built a top bar hive once which was much less complicated than the traditional hive I built. I bet they would even like a hollow log if it had a top and bottom.

They won’t stay long so if you want to put them in a hive do it soon. Good luck, Bill

Muddy is right, you can gather them at night but they are more aggressive and you can’t leave a light on them very long or they start to fly at it. Best in the morning and you can mist them with a little suger water and they will settle down.

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You’re right…I should just be grateful for the opportunity to see this on my property, and it has turned me into a wide-eyed kid again! But dang…what you just describe has me more tempted than every to try my storage bin idea. I could cut holes near the top a few inches apart on each side and slide sticks through them so I’d have just what you described. I’d have a removable lid (the top) and could cut a small slit in one or more locations for the bees to come and go. Oh well…again, I should just enjoy it as it is. Thanks for that info, Muddy!

Thanks for taking an interest, folks. You’re making this even more fun. I darn sure would have thought night time would have been the way to go! And misting with sugar water? Who knew? I should have thought about the plastic thing…I’m sure if plastic worked there would be a lot of plastic hives on the market since they would last longer. But Ive never seen one and that should tell me something. Darn…I was really considering giving it a shot. Sadly, I don’t have the tools or skills to make even a rudimentary wooden box!

You might have a dresser drawer and piece of plywood to try for very temporary storage. Don’t know anyone who has done that, but maybe it would work if you left some air circulation room.

You’re killing me. What a great idea…and I’ve got an old dresser out in my barn. Sometimes I wish you guys weren’t so inventive and resourceful! I’m torn. But if you don’t think it would work until end of season then I guess I’ll restrain myself. BUT thanks for the great idea.

Haha! I’d say just offer them the entire dresser and leave a drawer cracked open, but you’d have one freaking mess to clean out by the end of the season if they stayed.

Swarms of bees are fun, one of the only times they won’t hardly sting you!!! If they don’t like what you have made for them they will just leave with no harm done. Maybe you have a local beekeepers club, they may love to come get them. You may meet someone that would put a hive on your property.

Even better, someone who would be happy to mentor you when you do get your own hives. Starting with at least two is better.
When you do have your own, time can disappear in a flash while you stand and just watch them for what you expect to be a few minutes.

I kept a chair at my hive and loved to watch them return loaded with different colors of pollen.

Its so fun seeing how like minded everyone here is in some ways. I stood for 30 minutes gawking at those bees, watching them come and go and crawl all over each other and so on. So yea, I’d definitely loose track of time watching a hive.
If I thought the full dresser thing would work, I wouldn’t clean it out…it would go on burn pile with no big loss honestly. and hearing that if they didn’t like it they’d just leave with no harm done…has me considering it again! Ya’ll (I’m a southerner so that’s perfect English for me) are driving me crazy! If they are still around tomorrow I will likely give it a shot.

Another way that great minds think alike…I already have a mentor lined up to help me. I already called to see if he wanted the bees but he is out of town. He offered me another guys number but I think I’d rather keep the bees here (I know they won’t stay where they are swarming but they will at least be in flying distance if I don’t give them away) I just recently had a mutual friend introduce me to the mentor I’m describing and he’s already given me some books and catalogs and volunteered to help me set up a couple hives next year (he also said I really should do at least 2). So I’m heading in the right direction to try beekeeping out next year. I guess this has just been a fun prelude.