Managed to get up a tad bit higher this morning after returning from the vet, and found the swarm had clumped up a bit better – but again, alas, even nearer the trunk of the tree. I got a good spray on them, and did actually managed to dislodge some of them in a clump, but the distance to fall was too great, and not many actually landed. I watched them for awhile, and saw some checking out th hive body, then flying back up. I figured I’d give them a bit to see if the scouts would get them moving to the hive, and went inside to (finally) have some breakfast. The branch they were on is visible from the window near my desk, and while waiting for the coffee to finish, I glanced out: the swarm was gone. So I ran back outside, to see if I could see them in the air, and what do you know? They had gotten pissed off enough at the other location to reposition. Now they are on a small tree, near the shed, about five feet off the ground. I had thought round three would be the last fail and be a perfect example of the shitty week I’ve had thus far, but there seems to be life in this chase yet. After I chug some of this shake and coffee as quickly as possible, I’m going to run back out and reposition the gear to see if I can capture them before they take off for good.
Went out and gave it another go. They are simply too high off the ground and getting to them is next to impossible. I’m hoping the ones I did manage to escort into the hive body will go back to their colleagues and tell them what a sweet little new home they found. It is now lightning and thundering very close to the ranch, so that ends our “capture the swarm” game for today.
The two baby swarms joined up into one ball…at the trunk side of the branch, the harder of the two spaces to reach. Naturally. Ungrateful bitches. I wasn’t able to get close enough to them with the first setup and attempt to spray them with sugar water to keep them still and then be able to drop them in a clump. I did spray them as well as was possible and tried to scrape them off, but I’m just about six inches too short with the setup I had, and there was no satisfying plop of bees into the hive below them. If they’re still hanging out there later, towards dusk, I’m going to have another go at them, hauling out the giant ladder I used when I was painting the barn and try to position it somehow in that small stand of saw palmettos. By the way, there’s a reason they have that name. Don’t start tromping around in them trying to get a working space and positioning a hive body in your shorts. It’s a bad idea.
Two baby swarms about 40′ up in one of the giant pines. To give you a sense of it, the second picture is the tree. The swarms are on the third branch on the left, counting up from the bottom. The third pic is the area under the tree that I get to work in. Yay. This should be interesting.