I got a call shortly before 7 on May 25, 2012. Guy called saying they had a swarm of bees at his workplace. Apparently a swarm of bees had landed inside their forklift propane storage shed. After asking a few questions to make sure they were indeed honey bees (never know if they simply found a yellow jacket nest), they were confirmed to be honey bees.
I told the fellow I would come and get them. However, there was a catch in that the had to get permission from his supervisor before I could come. A few minutes later I got a call back saying I could come and get them. These bees were located at Trinity Highway Products, in Lima, Ohio. I live in Findlay, Ohio and it takes about 35 minutes to get to Lima from my place. Since the bees had just settled in, and it was getting late, I figured they would still be there.
When I arrived, there were several people waiting for me. I called the fellow back and he knew it was me pulling up in the truck, guess I would be the only one coming at that time.
Found a nice cluster of bees in the propane shed. I put on my protective gear as I was going to have to brush these bees in to my box. It took about an hour to get most of the bees into the box. I got a good amount in when I first brushed them. However, they are on a expanded wire sided shed and each time I brushed them, more moved to the outside of the shed. The shed was located next to another solid sided storage shed and I could not easily get between the two, about 6 inches of space between them. I ended up putting my box on the other shed’s roof and pushed it up against the other shed. Over time, most of the bees just walked into my box, which means I most likely got the queen.
Once most of the bees were in my box, I sealed up the box top with duct tape. My box has a screened bottom for ventilation. I would like to thank Tim at Honey Run Apiaries for this box. He sells nucs in 10 frame mediums. The bottoms of his nucs or starter hives have a shim added and a screened bottom stapled on. This hives bees space at the bottom of the box and was originally intended as a temporary bottom. However, I found these to be useful as swarm boxes as a flat lid can be taped down for transportation.
The swarm spend the night in the swarm box. I moved them today and put them in a regular hive body. I was surprised the see the amount of comb they had built overnight on the new rite cell foundation. I did have some drawn comb and three frames of honey for them to use. Unfortunately, I did not see a queen or any signs she had started laying in the drawn comb that they did have. However, it may take a few days for her to get use to her new home.
The swarm has drawn out and filled all but 3 frames of the 10 frame medium brood box I installed them in. I added a deep box I had laying around with new black rite-cell foundation. I was no expecting them to be built out this far as it has been dry and I did not see an abundance of flowers in the area. They are located near a wildflower field that I was expecting to bloom in another week. I found the field was in 1/2 bloom of various wildflowers with more to come at a later date. All but one of the new hives at this location has filled out their boxes and are in need of additional supers.