The Meanest Swarm I’ve Ever…. When Time And Temperature Play A Role

In Swarm Capture by Randy McCaffreyLeave a Comment

This was without a doubt the meanest swarm I've ever had the pleasure of accidentally dumping down my shirt. These are Italian honey bees as that is what the majority of our feral stock is in the US. They are not Africanized. I just picked the wrong time to make such a mistake. If I had shaken them onto a sheet they still would have been agitated but I may have only gotten stung a time or two if at all. I do recommend that anyone checking out a swarm or catching swarms take every precaution until you are sure they can be handled without someone getting hurt. Either that or send the swarm trapping legend Jeff Horchoff in to check them out first.

The smaller swarm I shook earlier in the day resulted in no stings and was handled pretty much the same way as the latter. The difference was the temperature and the time of day. Time and temperature play a pretty big role in beekeeping, even in when to do your hive inspections.

As with all my swarm catches I put these on lock down for 48 hours. I jokingly call this The Dirt Rooster Method because I never heard anyone else come up with a time of less than three days for this technique before I started doing these videos. Once in a while I'll do a two night lock down and not actually reach the forty eight hour mark. When I do I watch their reaction to being released to decide whether I want to close them back up or not.

Both these swarms did have queens and both are doing very nicely.

I do not take any medicine for these stings, not even benadryl. My body can handle a lot of stings and benadryl just makes me sleepy. Most people can build a pretty good resistance to honey bee stings over a little bit of time. Some viewers/commenters worry that some day my body may turn on me and suddenly be come allergic. I don't know of any beekeeper this has ever happened to so I don't even think about it.

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This was recorded March 18th 2017.

The music is Ticket by Gunnar Olsen from YouTube's ad free music library.