Tim Lowe sent me the following as a reply to a recent e-mail. I thought I'd share it with you all to highlight the hardcore nature of our gentle looking pursuit:
Bit of an update.
Split my older hive Thursday into two boxes and then put them both into an older hive here at home. That makes 3 hives on the go.
Got a call friday evening from my uncle who hosts one of my hives in his orchard. He says a pile of bees have been under a tree for most of the day. Aunt has only just told him about them!! Wizzed over and collected the bees, and the bulk of the swarm at chest height in the apple tree above them that they had completely failed to notice!! Checked under the hive (it is open bottomed after all) and saw a couple of swarm cells. So opened up the hive and took out two combs each with swarm cells on them. Also took out a couple of brood comb, put them into a box and high tailed it to where I keep my hive in the village at home. But god they were stroppy. Found my suit leaks bees at the throat and have got at least six stings there. I'm going to look funny for the rest of the weekend. Couple of stings at the temple as well, on a wrist and back of leg too. Not a good session.
Back in the village I split the queen called comb between two 5 comb boxes, broke into the large hive for a couple of comb of stores to top them up over this bad weather and left them there with the main swarm to keep them company. Hope they drown!! No really hope that I don't have to requeen them because of their temper. Hoping it is a combination of swarming, wind, rain, queens hatching, and being unable to fly when they need to. We'll see. More stings at the throat.
Any way, I now have to quickly make 3 hives to fit them into. So, I've got 2 more flowerpot boxes for swarms (currently out as bait boxes) that I could use if we need to. Then that's it at the moment. Let me know if you need me.
I'll certainly see you on Wednesday, if I can see over my throat!!
All the best,