I love to hear bee stories, or just what’s on your mind, both from beekeepers and people who’ve just see interesting things. When I go to collect a swarm there are almost always people watching. It’s not something most people see every day so I’m sure you have something interesting to tell, create your own story here.

Send them in, if they’re good, we’ll post them here. I prefer true stories, although sometimes it can be a little difficult to decide whether a story is true or the figment of someone’s imagination.

In the meantime scroll down and see what other people have posted, perhaps it will encourage you to leave your own bee tale. You can also comment on the entries other people have submitted.

What’s Your Favorite Beekeeping Anecdote?

We’d love to share your bee stories. Most people have never seen a bee swarm, although I think everyone knows something about them. Perhaps you had a swarm of honey bees in your house, or saw a huge swarm on a tree in a parking lot and people were freaking out.

I’m hoping to gather enough to put into an eBook. All I ask is that you don’t mind me using them for that, and I’d like them to be true if possible. Whether it’s, like my own, a don’t try this at home story‘, something that happened to you, or just a story you heard from someone else, we want to hear all about it.

3 Responses to “Tell us what’s on your mind.”

  • John Ward

    I’ve been a beekeeper over 12 years and have captured or been involved with the capture of close to fifty swarms.

    Guy down the street (Ken) kept bees, got me started, and became my mentor. In that time I have built most of my finger jointed (Ken couldn’t seem to figure out how to make the jig so I did) Langstroth hive parts and more than 100 frames. And yes, a jointer was one of the tools for making frames.

    But I digress. My mentor had been beekeeping long enough (since the depression) to have his name on many contact lists to receive calls for going after swarms, so he would periodically call and say, “John, we got another one”, so off we’d go with a hive of frames of built comb and some honey to capture this latest swarm. Ken is dead now but I still carry on with swarm capture.

    But last year was a bit of a twist. I went into my storage shed to get a deep body to boost a hive and found a swarm had taken up residence in the stack of surplus deep bodies. I thought the plywood top and bottom I set on to keep out wax moths would be enough but the bees found a way in. And then another swarm moved into a stored nuc body.

    So this year in that shed I set up three individual deep bodied bait hives and watched for bee activity. The weather finally got warm enough for honeybees to scout around because I began to see them checking out my bait hives. Having heard through the local bee association of some swarms having been captured already this spring I started to get excited. Well, the day came that I noticed bee activity somewhat different than the norm. The bees were sort of just riding the air currents beside the shed.

    Looking more intently I found a swarm was squeezed into the two inch space between this shed and a shop building and totally missed or ignored any bait hive. So, I got a chair and set a bait hive on it with the hive entrance within six inches of the cluster and jammed a board between the hive and cluster for them to walk the plank into the hive.

    They sent about a thousand scout bees across the plank, (giggling and laughing all the way), slurped up all the attractive honey and went (staggering and giggling) back to the cluster. I went to bed that night thinking they would all move into the hive but found them the next morning (whispering in their committee meeting “He wants us to do what?”), still clustered in their confined two inch space.

    So I got out the pry bar and moved the shed so I could get to the swarm. Sprinkled sugar water on the now two clusters and proceeded to scoop them with a ritz cracker box into my bait hive saying “That’s where I want you to go!” A check of them six hours later found they had been busy on a bare plastic foundation, building it out 1/8th inch with comb all across the frame on both sides. They are now sharing the bee yard with over twenty other beehives, (giggling and cackling and telling stories of the beekeeper who…)

    Moral of the story, don’t expect honeybees to always follow directions or do what you expect them to do.

    • Geoff

      Yes John

      The sooner you realize the bees are in charge, the sooner you realize it’s not us keeping the bees, more the other way round.

      Thanks for your story.


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