Harry and Melvin had a call regarding what we were told were two ‘swarms’ last week. When we arrived at the site of the bees in Kidlington, all was revealed. A very small colony had set up home on two branches of a lalandi tree .
We arranged to come back at dusk the following day and were able to collect the colony, consisting of 2 comb, in a modified langstroth hive. We were not able to see the queen, but did not wish to distress them further, as it was cold and wet. We took them back to the apiary and positioned them inside a converted shed. which gives them access to forage outside.
As of this morning they are still surviving, and we are trying to feed them with small quantities of syrup in a contact feeder. We will keep you posted on their progress, although the odds are stacked against their survival, due to their paucity of numbers. We believe that some of the new colony may be trying to gain acceptance in our established colonies, as we have seen evictions taking place. This is, however, pure supposition on our part.
On a bright note, our three established colonies were extremely busy this morning, on a sunny November day and we witnessed pollen being brought back, even this late in the year. I will upload photos of the colonies soon.
Ps. We are sad to say that the recent addition to our apiary did not survive and so we have 3 colonies Having their first winter with us. We wish them well.