Monday, 9 June 2014

Another bee rescue

swarm box June 14

I have had lots of calls recently from local residents about bees in their gardens. Before today, all the calls had been about bumble bees. Today's call however was different.  As soon as the resident said there was a large cluster of bees on a tree, I knew it was a honeybee swarm. I was around in minutes, complete with my smock, gloves and swarm box. Alas, this swarm decided it was not going to be straightforward capturing it. I shook it from the tree into the box but when I returned a couple of hours later, I found that the swarm had left the box and was sitting on the lawn as a perfect circle. I had never seen bees do this before.

bee swarm June 14

I had to put my gloves back on and scoop the bees up and drop them back into the box. This time, fortunately, it worked. At 9pm tonight I returned, found the whole of the swarm still in the box and took it to one of my apiaries where I had already set up a hive for it. By 9.30pm, the swarm was in its new home.

The resident said that she had phoned the council before she phoned me. They charged her £76 for the privilege of planning to call out in a few days' time. I suggested she cancel the visit as the council does not deal with honeybee swarms (they would simply advise her, once they had seen the swarm, to call a local beekeeper who could possibly have been me anyway) and ask for her money back. I understand that was what she did. She was happy to save the money, the council was saved a wasted journey and I was happy to have recovered a swarm which hopefully will produce me some honey.

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