Tuesday 17 July 2012

Sex, Drugs and Beekeeping.....

.....but mostly beekeeping. Who needs chemical enhancement when you can get such a rush collecting swarms? So after all the packing-up, selling-on and generally winding down my beekeeping activiety I get a phone call this evening asking if I could come and have a look at a "load of bees hanging under my kids swing". Almost burnt the carpet in the rush to get over to Rollerston-on-Dove (nr. Burton) once it was confirmed that it was a swarm and not a bumble bee nest. So having packed all the gear in the car I shot over to Rollerston and was duly presented with a huge swarm hanging from an old child's swing. A good couple of pounds of bees I would imagine.

Huge, Big, Massive!

What an impressive sight! It certainly is the biggest swarm I've seen; being a complete cone shape rather than a flatter, thinner, section. It was very calm and serene with all the bees on the outside lined-up head upwards in preparation for another nights camping out. I decided to position the mini TBH under them and shock them into it - simple. Er, no! I didn't realise that they had been there for at least five days and possibly longer as the householder had been on holiday prior to that. That would explain the four, glistening white, combs that came into view as all the bees sprang off - Merde! Not wanting to have yet another issue with a lost/damaged queen  I decided, for good or bad, that I would break the comb off and drop it in the box. With LOTS of bees in the air, and many thousands inside, I covered the top of the box with most of the bars and left one gap as an entrance. Hopefully when I return tomorrow to pick them up they will all be safely in the box ready for their relocation to Ian and Alison's* garden in Elvaston. To be continued........


* they must think I'm some sort of hymenoptera based stalker (sorry for being a pest!)


  1. That's an impressive late swarm, even more impressed that they have been living outside. That's some tough bee's.

    See you tonight


  2. Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly in man-made hives, by humans. Most such bees are honey bee hive in the genus Apis, but other honey-producing bees such as Melipona stingless bees are also kept.