Sticky Acres

Home Depot Swarm Capture & Bee Rescue Helped By Neighbors

The Lincoln Log Bees aka The Breakout Queens finally managed to swarm to parts unknown. Good riddance. Those bees were ungrateful hobos. At any rate, we were left with an empty two-story lang hive full of pre-drawn honeycomb. We were hoping that a passing swarm would move on in. Alas, I guess the bee housing market in our neighborhood also sucks, because the hive has been vacant since December.

We were literally putting on our gear to go out and split The Speaker Bee hive–since it’s already six stories tall, and move some of those bees into the vacant hive–when our neighbor Noel knocked on our door.

Noel had just come from Home Depot where he’d spotted a swarm of bees in a tree in the parking lot. We jumped in the car and drove down to Home Depot, hoping the bees hadn’t already moved…or been sprayed down with some toxic chemical.

We found the football-sized swarm in the tree as described. I hope these bees are handy and can fix stuff around the house. It will be a drag if this swarm just stopped by Home Depot to shop for ugly ceiling fans.

We borrowed a step ladder from the store (so handy) and were just plotting the best method of shaking the bees into our cardboard box, when another neighbor, Evan, happened to walk by with his contractor. He nicely volunteered to take photos of us so we could both be in the pictures.

My favorite thing about this photograph are the two Home Depot security ladies supervisi…or something. (Also note the shoe hanging from the tree. So L.A.).

Mr. Foxypants misted the bees with honey water (bees can’t fly when they are wet) and then brushed the damp bees into the box with a bee brush. Everyone who passed by was relieved to discover that we were rescuing the bees, not exterminating the bees with poison. It was nice that every single person we dealt with, from Home Depot employees to day laborers hanging out in the parking lot, showed concern for the welfare of the swarm.

After knocking two remaining swarmlettes into the box, we taped up the box and drove the bees home in our trunk. We didn’t get one sting.

Today’s experience is a great argument for telling your neighbors that you keep bees. We couldn’t have done it without Noel’s and Evan’s help. Thanks guys!


  1. John Harris
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Very cool indeed!! That was nice of HD to let you borrow the ladder.

  2. Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    The very best way to catch a swarm, no Bee Vac required.

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