Loosing a Swarm
After years of catching swarms, it was bound to happen: we were overdue letting one get away.
On this particular sunny spring 2017 day, we had just climbed three sets of steep temporary stairs to the roof of an old machine factory to where a swarm had landed the day before. The factory workers needed to start air conditioning units and were concerned once they started those close by units, the bees would get sucked in and die.
With our swarm equipment deployed and a box ready for the swarm, I looked up to see bees literally running through the clustered bees. Scouts, telling the colony it was time to go.
Sure enough, bees started to peel off the side of the building, quickly forming a gentle cloud and they made their way across the top of the roof. We followed, trying to watch them as long as we can.
At the edge of the building, we lost them as they floated over tree tops and an Interstate highway.
Maybe a little but we were actually more thrilled to have seen the swarm in the opposite mode, packing up and actually leaving one location for another one.
After checking parking lot trees, and cars, we notified the factory the swarm was gone and to call us if they heard it was still in the area.
I still think standing in the middle of the swirling bees, watching and listening to them move off the building and down the roof line. Did we loose something? Hardly, we gained yet another amazing beekeeping experience!