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Bees Behind My Knees

By: Everett S

Top Bar Bee hive (LEFT) Me proudly showing off the Top Bar Bee Hives I built last month.

I have my bees! Last night a friend got the call to pick up a swarm at a local school yard. I helped out. I didn’t have a screened hat or anything like that. Just a t-shirt, jeans and some work gloves. This swarm was up in a tree so I climbed it and he stood below on a ladder with a box held up below the swarm. I tied a rope to the branch, climbed back down and tugged really hard. The bees plunked in the box and swarmed all over the dang place, but we didn’t get stung once… that time. After awhile almost all of the bees had gone into the box, which told us the queen was probably in there. He took it home and started his hive.

This morning I got a call bright and early letting me know there was a swarm over in the next neighborhood. This time I came prepared with long sleeves, long socks over my pants, rubber gloves, a mosquito net hat and plenty of duct tape.

But these bees were swarming on the ground, something I’d never heard of and wasn’t prepared for. During the next intense hour I slowly and patiently scooped bees up with my hands (tried several “tools” and none worked because they would get caught in the grass blades) and put them into the box. I took them home and poured them into my Top Bar hive, brushing in all of the straglers. At that point they went berzerk! I didn’t quite get them all into the bar hive but I had to get away for a minute and let them chill out. They were all over the hive and all over me.

After about ten minutes they began to congregate around the openings so I figured all was good. Now, several hours later, only a few dozen are flying around the opening and the rest seem to be cozy in the hive.

During this entire ordeal I was only stung ONCE, and that was because I squatted down while a bee was on the backside of my knee. It was getting squashed.

But now I have my bees and so far watching them is just amazing. I can’t seem to figure out where some of them are going or what they’re doing. Several dozen just kinda buzz around the front door in no particular pattern.

Category: Animals, The Transplants

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  1. […] in time, such as soap making (I’d like to be better), cheesemaking (better), blacksmithing, beekeeping (better), apple-cider making, beer and wine making, moonshine making, […]

  2. Rob says:

    I’m FAR from being an expert, but I’ve seen dozens of pics of bees hanging around the outside of a hive entrance with the caption always saying something about them “washboarding.” The first guess from that inference would be that they’re “housekeeping,” but being an ex-military type myself, I think I’d be more tempted to call them “door guards.” Either way, I can’t wait to get my hive populated so I can start watching my own, instead of just reading about everyone else’s.
    Right now I have hundreds of bees coming to drink in my small pond every day here in SE Texas, and I have yet to be stung once by them (thankfully, as I’m mildly allergic to the stings…swelling up for 1-2wks is never much fun) even though I’ve been down at the pond digging (and I’m sure bumping into more than a few of them) while they were all crowding to the water for a drink during our “drought-of-the-century”….My wife wants to get bees, and I want to get THESE bees, as they’re about the most timid honebees I’ve met to date!(If anyone has good recommendations on how to encourage them to all swarm into my new TBH I’m building, I’d appreciate the advice!)

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