On Sunday, 19th, May, Harry’s daughter, Carla noticed a lot of bees coming and going from a large bush near to the apiary. Harry hot-footed it down to see that there was a large swarm of bees present on one of the branches. He surmised that this was our first experience of one of our colonies swarming.
Harry had a hive available and so rang Melvin to come to assist him in catching the swarm and encouraging the bees to take up residence in the new ‘Langstroth’ hive. Before Picking Melvin up, Harry received another call, this time from his wife Jackie, in the kitchen. A hearty late afternoon brunch had been prepared and this left poor Harry with quite a conundrum, to continue observing the bees, or to taste the delights of the culinary offerings.
The latter prevailed and by the time Melvin was suited and booted, the swarm had long gone! Both Harry and Melvin were disappointed to lose the swarm, but comforted by the fact that swarming is the most natural thing in the world. We are hoping that the swarm have found a new home and flourish, and on a wider note, it can only help if the Queen mates with other drones from other colonies, to encourage build up of resistance to disease and prevent inbreeding.
We had been so pleased that our bees had made it through winter and were happily foraging in local gardens. We are, however, concerned that the onset of the local farmer’s rape fields could contain neonicinoid coated seed, which has been proven to be lethal to bees.