July 18, 2019

My Swarm – Maine Swarm Hotline to the Rescue

Good morning every one!

I want to take a moment and THANK the Maine Bee Swarm Hot Line and our group!   An extra special THANK YOU with much gratitude goes out to Erin, Philip, Larry and Fred.

Honey Bee Swarm in  Tree in Maine

Honey Bee Swarm in Tree in Maine

I happen to have Monday off, such a beautiful day, and our garage in need of paint. So, the project of the day had me on a ladder, painting and just plain enjoying the day.

I had visited the bee hives earlier and re-freshed their water and watched them a bit….they were starting to really get buzzin’ .  We had added a box on each hive the day before, lots of activity,lots of bees and honey and babies.

Back to the ladder, as I was painting near the roof, over the stall and donkey paddock, I could really see the ‘bee highway’, as they would leave the hive and return.

Around 11am, I could heard a much louder buzzing , which became a humming sound.  I looked out towards the hives (2), and they was a lots of bees around the hives and over the paddock area….like a cloud!    Amazing and alarming (…my mind thinking, oh noooo….)!

I climbed down the ladder, and by the time I got closer to the hives, ‘the bee cloud’ was moving!
They gathered tighter and went high into a maple tree about 75 ft from the hives…!

So, anything that I learned in Erin’s bee classes went out of my head!   My saving grace, was our group!!!  I am sooo glad to be part of and that we also connect via this google space, as I remembered a posting of the swarm hot line!

In between leaving a message on the hot line, and leaving a message with Erin,  in less than 15 mins., I was getting calls back!  Again, thank YOU’s !

Larry and I discovered we are neighbors!  He came over with some supplies and moral support!
I was just finishing up the swarm trap and he suggested placement of it…..
I  showed him where the swarm was, and he commented on how big it was, possibly 5 to  6lbs of bees!    Probably up 40-50ft high.

After Larry left, I called Erin, to keep her updated and then preceded to make another swarm trap, that I placed even further away on our land.

I did indeed, after all that, sat with a beer and watched the swarm and hives.

Mid-afternoon, I just went to do something, and I heard buzzing, that again became increasingly louder then humming…..the bees were on the move….however,  not to any of my traps….
It seems weird to me that something so big, this bee cloud, can just disappear….literally!
I guess I wasn’t looking high enough, I was trying to follow their sound, as well as see them, again…
moving…..the air grew silent …..and I spent over an hour or so, scouting our land…trees….
to no avail.  Even walked up and down our road a bit.

When Sheri got home, we went into the hives….both hives seem to be doing well….lots of bees.
The hive,  that seemed to have the mass exodus, is doing well, lots of bees.   We did see a queen cell,that was empty!

What an experience!   How fortunate I was home to witness!   How perplexing the different emotions and thoughts that came up during this experience.  Oh those wild ones!

Thanks, Erin, for listening, and the calming factor as well as  reminding me of the details of the swarm trap.

Thanks  Phil, for calling me, and letting me know that my call to the hot line was received and going thru channels to find a person near me that could help.

Thanks, Larry for calling and coming over so quickly even when you were in the middle of a time sensitive project yourself!

Thanks goes out to Fred, I am sorry I do not remember your last name, you called to inquire about the swarm and wanted to be sure that someone had contacted me.

I am off to finish painting our garage and enjoy this  beautiful day!

Wishing all of you the very best of day!

Becky Foster, Member, Cumberland County Beekeepers Association

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