Went to snag a swarm of bees at lunchtime today. Climbed up a ladder, sprayed the huge ball of bees with sugar water and deftly scraped them into a box that had ventilation screens duct-taped over the hand holes.
Thought that I was very crafty and had done a splendid job. That is, until I noticed that there was a hole in the fascia. Bees came pouring out of the spot where one of those little louvered vent buttons had been lost to the elements. Oops.
It turns out that the space in the soffit area was very hospitable to them, and that I had just made off with a large “beard” of bees. The rest of the hive was just fine and in the house. The heat (91 degrees), it seems, had caused a whole lot of them to seek some fresh air outside. A major house extraction is beyond me, so I am working to help the homeowners find someone to come up and do their magic.
In the end I at least get a bunch of bees to combine with a “queen-right” colony in my apiary. It should give them a nice boost of a field force.
The bees hung out in the box in my chilly dark basement (simulating night) until I had time to borrow a couple of supers from a fellow beekeeper. As they were nice and docile, I just shook them into the hive (with newspaper between them and the queen-right colony) and was delighted to have at least 4 lbs. of new bees.
And a Video: