Swarm report (July 2017)

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  • July 3, 2017: Mike reported:
    • I got a call about bumble bees out in Sooke. Too far out for any for free people to get. Left them Barry’s number, for cost removal.
    • Late in the day at 9pm, I got a call about a swarm near Keating Cross Rd and Oldfield Rd. Barry has some hives in a location near to the swarm. Left a message with him and waiting to hear back. I will also call Rob Farkus who has the next nearest hive. I can follow up with the lady in the morning.
  • July 4, 2017: Irene reported:
    • Barry Denluck was called on a moving swarm in James Bay going down Niagara Street. No call yet for it.
    • Another call, Beverley on what to do to get rid of Wasps.
    • Member Chris Berghuis called and then caught his own swarm. Great job Chris. He had an adventure while I was away and it was so well expressed I thought it was worth sharing in the Beeline. Sometimes you have to make do with what skills you have acquired. When deciding to be a beekeeper get all the information you can before you begin. Here is his swarm adventure:
      Here is his video link… https://beeginners.ca/2017/07/06/the-swarm-video/
      His experience with the swarm…  https://beeginners.ca/2017/07/04/swarm/
      Thank you so much for sharing this with us all Chris!
  • July 5, 2017: Michelle reports:
    • This is the first time I can actually report something to you in a long time.
      A lady named Mary called yesterday on Croft Street in James Bay reporting a swarm that landed in a tree four stories high I might add the size of a huge basketball.
      Bob and I investigated and we found it too dangerous to get, so we called City Hall and ask for assistance with the works department, the parks department and they turned and said call the fire department. In the end nobody would help. I got a phone call at about 3:45 from Mary saying that she just got in the door in the bees have left they are no longer in the tree.
    • At 4 o’clock I got a call from another person saying there’s a swarm going down our street on St. James Street by Dallas Road. Hopefully today Bob will get a call from where that swarm landed and we might be able to pick it up.
    • I got another call for a bumblebee nest; we went to investigate and we could not find the nest where the gentleman said. This was on Menzies Street in James Bay. That’s all to report for today.
  • July 6, 2017: Bob reports:
    • Got a call from Shirley who lives in Shirley. She wanted to thank Michelle for the help she gave over the phone in dealing with a swarm.
    • The 2nd call was from Gary on Huron St. They had a swarm on a buoy on the jetty. It was reported to be 4 to 5 feet in height and several feet wide. I called Michelle. She captured and hived it with no problems.
  • July 7, 2017:
    • Got a call from Melissa on Rock Heights Ave in Esquimalt. She reported that there was a bumble bee nest in her compost bin. I contacted Catherine Culley who agreed to take the call. She reported back later that it was a wasp nest.
    • Received a call from Willow on Colville Road in Esquimalt. There was swarm on her raspberry bushes. I decided to take this one. It turned out to be very problematic. I got most of them in the box. They were fanning at the entrance and bees were going in the box. It was shortly after lunch. I stayed around for about an hour. Everything seemed to going as planned, so left. I phoned back about 5 to see how things were progressing. I was told the swarm was back to its original size. It was a fair size. It is difficult to give an exact size because they had bent over the raspberry cane to the ground and were sprawled over the ground. It sounded as they had left the box. I called Michelle and asked her to bring her vacuum cleaner along. We shook as many as we could back into the box. There were still small clumps hanging onto the leaves and branches of the raspberry canes. There was a raised bed an inch or two from the fence. There were bees down in the crevice between the end of the raised bed and fence. These were impossible to get at. We were sticking the bee brush down in the crevice. Then we would take it out and shake off the few bees that were clinging to the brush. It was very slow going and time consuming work. It got dark. We knew we had the majority of the bees and those
      left behind would go back to their original hive the next day. WRONG. I got a call from Willow the next morning about all the bees that were flying around. I was still hoping they would disperse as so as they figured out the rest of the swarm had gone. I told her I would phone her back about noon. I went out to do some business and came later than expected. When I got back there was call from Peter Day. Willow had phoned him about the swarm. I told Peter I would go back that evening. There was a small clump of bees about the size of a baseball – not more than a few hundred at best. They were a couple of inches off the ground hanging onto a piece of green wire garden fencing. I just knocked them in the box. I set up the box to catch any stragglers that may be flying out late. When it was dark  I closed up the box and left.
  • July 8, 2017: Peter reports.. “Seven calls to the swarm line today, busy day.  The bees were on the move.
    • Resident called to report a swarm landed in her apple tree in the back yard.  It was just up the road from me and my bees had swarmed about two hours earlier so I got in my van to head up to collect. Before I pulled out of my driveway the resident called back to report the bees had moved on.
    • Resident called from Shakespeare Street near the Royal Jubilee that a swarm landed in her plum tree.  She tried to contact her neighbour, who is a beekeeper, but no one was home. I called beekeepers in the area but got no response. The bees moved on about two hours after they landed.
    • Resident called to report bees have been coming in and out of his eaves for the past three days. Gave him Barry Denluck’s number for possible removal for fee.
    • Resident called from Seaforth Road in Esquimalt about a swarm that landed on the roof of their condo. One of the condo residents called their nephew who agreed to come and collect.
    • Member called to report her bees had just swarmed. She was going to collect them herself and just wanted to give us a heads up in case someone called from that area.
    • Resident called from the area of Fisherman’s Wharf to report she saw a swarm of bees in the area.  She didn’t know where they went so I contacted beekeepers in the area to be on the lookout.
    • Resident called to report there were still a lot of bees in her yard from a swarm that she reported the day before and that was collect by two of our members. I called one of the members requesting they go back and try to capture the remaining bees.
  • July 9, 2017: No calls to the swarm line
  • July 10, 2017: Got a call out in deep cove. Bees had hived and built comb outside in the garden of a resident garden in a secluded location by their front door. It had been there for 4 days. Size of a football. No beekeepers registered or alerts in the area so collected the small swarm and put into a queen less hive. Jim the owner was concerned but not bothered by the bees. Luckily they didn’t take up residence in a safer location such as one of the chimneys in the area.
  • July 11, 2017: Irene reported:
    • Call from Westcoast Tire – Sooke Road – Bees 40 feet up in sky light in shop. They phoned Barry but he declined. Spoke to Peter for an idea as whether or not it was feasible to catch them. It was decided that not able to attempt it.
    • Bumblebees in mattress at DHL Disposal – Eric Davies was called. He will contact the caller.
    • Bumblebees in compost pile – Rainer Tritt was called. He will contact the caller.
    • Sooke RCMP – Swarm in Japanese maple – easy catch – called Norman in Sooke – he will attend.
  • July 18, 2017: Irene reported:
    • 11:30am: Shirley from Port Alberni – our number given by pest control – what to do about bumblebee nest in garage and home owner has already been stung twice and uses Epipens. Suggested that she maybe contact bee club in her area.
    • 11:45am: Elaine in the Swan Lake area has a hived bee colony behind a slate wall where her office is located. Gave her Barry and Ole’s contact information.
    • Bumblebee call – North Saanich – we do not have anyone to pick up in North Saanich.
  • July 20, 2017: Carolyn – Bumble bee call for bees in compost. Was just a few blocks from me so I collected.
  • July 24, 2017: Michael reported: Two wasp calls and one bumble bee call out in Sooke. No one close by to take it.
  • July 25, 2017: Irene reported:
    • First call came in at just before noon: Swarm near Government St. Swarm settled on low bush. When I telephoned Barry to see if he had bees in town (he had hives on a roof down there but they were moved), Barry was already on the way as someone else had phoned him. It was an easy catch.
      No other calls.
  • July 27, 2017: Bob reported:
    • One call. She said they had been knocking a house down with an excavator in Oak Bay and had disturbed a nest of honeybees that had a nest on the 2nd storey. I have removed honeybees from building structures and it can be a time consuming and messy job especially if there is a lot of honey comb involved. I asked her how soon was the rest of the house to be taken down. She said that afternoon. I expressed my concern about destroying a bee nest using an excavator bucket. You could have thousands of bees flying around in a very bad mood. She said she would talk with the excavator operator and call me back. She never called back.
    • Follow up by Caroline… “I had to run in errand in Oak Bay today so I went by the site. The house is completely gone and although there were a couple dozen bees flying around the construction site, they were all bumble bees. I did not see any honey bees at all so I suspect they had a rather healthy bumblebee nest.”
    • These were the only calls that came in on the swarm line this past two weeks. Swarm season is winding down and yellow jacket season is just beginning. Make sure your hives are treated and strong against mites and other pathogens and predators.

Thank you so much Caroline for manning the lines while I was away. It’s been a BUSY Summer! Enjoy the heat everyone! My bees certainly seem to love it. Tons of honey and brood even in the city hives. My sun room where I store my empty bee boxes looks like a swarm has arrived! They just can’t seem to find their way back out properly despite all the open doors and windows. The mailman refuses to bring my mail so we have moved our mailbox. Visitors don’t knock on my front door anymore. I may have to vacuum them all out and do a catch and release of the neighbourhood honey bees in the evenings. Don’t want my home to become a “Jupiter Ascending” Victorian but if they start building comb it might just look like one right out of the movie.

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