When Out Of Reach
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained
I have gone up a ladder fifteen feet, got the bees in the hive in this
way, and backed down without difficulty. After putting the hive in its
place, sometimes a part will go back; in that case, a small branch full
of leaves should be held directly under and close to them, and as many
jarred on it as possible. Hold this still, and shake the other to
prevent their clustering there; you will soon have them all collected,
eady to bring down, and put by the hive. A handle basket or large tin
pan may be taken up the ladder instead of the hive, when they can be
readily emptied before it. But very few will fly out in coming down. If
you succeed in getting nearly all the bees in the first effort, and but
few are left, merely shaking the branch will be sufficient to prevent
their holding fast, and will turn their attention to those below, where
those which have already found a hive will be doing their best to call
them. When the hive is first turned over, most of the bees fall on the
board and rush out, but as soon as it is realized that a home is found,
a buzzing commences inside; this quickly communicates the fact to those
outside, which immediately turn about, facing the hive and hum in
concert, while marching in.
Another plan may be adopted, even if fifteen feet high; when the branch
is not too large, and there is not too much in the way below it. Have
ready two or three light poles of suitable length; select such as have
a branch at the upper end, large enough to hold a two-bushel basket.
This is raised directly under the swarm; with another pole, the bees
are all dislodged, and fall into the basket, and are quickly let down.
Now, if you have got about all, throw a sheet over for a few moments,
to prevent their escape. They soon become quiet, and may be hived
without many going back to the branch, as they do, when attempting to
hive them immediately.
I often have them begin to cluster near the ground, very conveniently
for hiving. In such a case, I do not wait for all to collect, but as
soon as such place is indicated, I get the board and hive ready. When a
quart or so are gathered, shake them in a hive, and set it up; the
swarm will now go to that, instead of the branch, especially if the
latter is shaken a little. Where many stocks are kept, it is advisable
to be as expeditious as possible. A swarm will thus hive itself much
sooner than when it is allowed to cluster.