Other uses for wireless equipment: Bee swarm capture

I’ve got a few hobbies which are not related to the Internet business. One of them is beekeeping, and I had a lot of fun taking care of my two hives last year. The bees are so dedicated and interesting to watch, and the honey is great.

Like many beekeepers, I suffered losses and only one of my hives survived the winter. As a result, I’m on the lookout for bees.

It’s swarming season for the bees right now. This is the time when a healthy but overcrowded hive will split, and a group of about 10,000 bees join the outgoing queen and depart the hive. They cluster somewhere while scout bees seek out a new home. Then, once a bee quorum is archived, they all move to their new home. Generally this takes a day or so, during which time beekeepers can box up the whole group and put them in a cozy new hive.

I got a call this afternoon about a swarm that was very high upin a redwood tree. My coworker Kelsey and I had captured a swarm last week from a bush – shoulder height, just off a trail, it was really quite easy. But, the height at which this swarm had settled in the redwood tree made it sound like a real challenge.

Thankfully, our bucket truck hasn’t got much to do these days. Normally it’s used to install Wi-Fi, but I put it to another use. At the full extension of the boom, we had to put a rope over the branch to draw it down. Thanks to Katia at BeeKind in Sebastopol for the idea.

Tomorrow evening, the bees will be moved into the home I am giving them, a nice cozy new hive box located next to my other two in Forestville.

If you find a bee swarm, don’t panic. Swarming season is when bees are generally best behaved. Don’t disturb them, and they are not likely to sting you. Consult your local beekeeping association for a list of people who may be able to pick up a swarm. Locally, that would be the Sonoma County Beekeeping Association.