Our newbie bees: the Patty bees
Last week we got a call from Jim Lazzarini, our friend and Self Reliant Community member. Jim was on vacation but had received a call regarding a swarm of bees about 5 miles from where we live. I called Patty, who had the bees in her front yard, and told her we’d bee right out. We loaded ladders, an empty hive, our bee suits, a ten gallon plastic flower pot with the holes taped and other bee supplies into the back of our pickup and off we went.
The bees were about 12′ from the ground in a small tree. Billy balanced our largest ladder against the tree and I put the shorter step ladder next to it. Then Billy took up the flower pot and with me next to him on the other ladder he quickly shook the branch with the bees so that they fell into the pot. Then I covered the pot and quickly poured them into the hive. After some time, some of the bees that didn’t make it into the pot/hive reformed into a clump on the branch, so we repeated the process several times and finally cut off the branch and put it into the cab of the truck so that any remaining bees would go into the hive. We left so that the bees would all go into the hive and went back at dusk. They were almost all settled inside the hive, so we closed it up and brought it home. We’ve decided that we really like these Patty Bees. They’re very hard workers–they made several combs within days–and they are quite docile. Although we disturbed them quite a bit shaking them from the tree, not a single bee tried to sting. Of course we were wearing protection, but the fact that they didn’t try makes them quite loveable.
I’ll post pictures soon, hopefully.