Vacuuming Bees

It never ceases to amaze me what necessity can help us to invent.  And I am quite sure that I would never have thought of using a vacuum in this particular way.   But when it came to dealing with a native honeybee swarm at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio, a local beekeeper used a new method to exact the little critters from the wetland area where they were not wanted.  

Golf Course Superintendent Brent Palich said the bees just showed up as a swarm one morning. “We didn’t think the bees would be harmful to the golfers, but, on the other hand, with the close proximity to the fifth green we didn’t want to cause any panic to golfers so we thought we should do something about them.”  With honey bees disappearing across the country due to Honey Bee Colony Collapse, beekeepers are always eager to get new bee populations.  But how do you find one of those  beekeepers?   You got it ….just Google ‘Beekeeper’.  Fortunately, one beekeeper popped up as being located nearby and came right out to Sand Ridge with a new instrument for removal of bees. 

Historically, beekeepers just shake bees down into an empty box hoping to capture the queen within the mass of worker bees.  This creates a lot of flying,  unhappy bees in the air and is not always completely successful.   With the specially designed bee vacuum in hand, the removal is more methodical and upsets the bees less.  As you can see from the photo, the bees are just sucked up through the hose and into an awaiting box or hive.  Since this first swarm, Sand Ridge has had other noticeable swarms to fly in, but Palich said “we have just allowed them to stay as they have always moved on by the next day.”  Guess they heard about the vacuum, huh. 

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