It’s A Bee’s World

Posted: June 27, 2012 by Leah Hafterson in Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, News & Events, Uncategorized
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While honey bees aren’t typically associated as a home improvement or a lawn and garden project, the recent swarm provided a learning opportunity for our staff at the Tacoma store.

When the swarm first appeared one sunny afternoon and perched in a tree located at our back lot, we were faced with a dilemma of what to do with the honey bees. Having just left their previous hive, splitting from the rest of the colony, and full of honey, these bees were lethargic and would have been difficult to irritate. However, on Washington Street near a noisy rental yard in an industrial area would pose a hazard for them as well as our staff and customers.

As a protected species and important to pollinating food crops and plants, our only option was to move them somewhere else. One of our mechanics, Dan, put in a phone call to a friend in Montana to find out what could be done about moving the bees elsewhere. His recommendation was to start with the Washington State Department of Agriculture and contact them about sending someone to move the bees.

When I got to the section of their website pertaining to honey bees, I found a link to the Washington State Beekeepers Association. From there I was able to find a link to the Pierce County Beekeepers Association.  On their home page was a phone number for reporting swarms of honey bees. I left a message and by the afternoon, one of their members had arrived to move the bees. Armed with a box hive and a bucket on pole, the beekeeper herded the bees into the hive, his goal specifically to get the queen bee into the hive. Once the queen bee moved to the box hive, the other bees would follow her attracted by her scent.

Once 90% of the hive was in the box, the beekeeper loaded up the bee-filled box hive into his vehicle. They would be relocated to his bee farm. Most of the remaining bees that were not herded into the hive would follow on their own.

  1. Bill Bell says:

    Great post, I love the swarm collecting bucket, nice improvisation.

    Here’s my short video of a swarm I got a few weeks ago

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