Made three visits yesterday morning - all for bumble bees. Firstly there was a lovely old couple in Ilkeston who, having exhausted their options with the local council and pest controllers, found my number via a swarm collection website. Their initial concern was that they had a swarm of unidentified bees living in their roof space that could cause long term problems for them and their neighbours. Even from the ground I could see they were bumble bees and after a chat they were more than happy to leave them alone; hoping that one of their grandchildren would volunteer to clean the old nest out come the winter.
The second place I went to generated the third. As soon as I stepped into the small yard and started pointing out the bumble bees 'toing-and-frowing' the next door neighbour called to say she too had a problem with bees from the same roof vent. Again they were both unsure of what they were dealing with but I confirmed they were definitely bumble bees. The original caller seemed overly concerned that the bees were "Out to get me!" and even my initial chat about how docile they were didn't seem to calm the situation. It then turned out that she had been given advise from a pest controller who told her that "they would grow into a massive problem colony" and "target anyone who showed fear" - What tosh! Thankfully she didn't have the £85 he was charging for removal and decided to shop around until she found my free option. Once I'd told them the facts about bumble bees both households were reassured enough to leave them alone and sort out the issue during the winter.
In the evening I went to The Shakespeare Inn just to make sure there wasn't anyone waiting expectantly for the monthly meeting that had been changed to next Wednesday. After about twenty minutes I felt that it was safe to go and the landlord, who already knew of the date change, said he would inform any late comers - hopefully there weren't any.
On the way back I dropped off a hive to Ali B in Elvaston as a stand-by in case I get a swarm call-out from Lucky Dave or via the swarm collection hot line. For the same reason Tim has offered to re-jig his apiary to create some free hives as at the moment I think we are almost at full capacity hive wise. This current wet weather will obviously dampen down the swarming instinct but as soon as we get a dry spell they could be off again. So if you, or someone you know, is looking for bees to put into a TBH please get in touch.