Saturday, 3 June 2017

The perfect swarm.

I've been beekeeping for a few years now and have been and collected a few swarms in that time. I have read about swarm collecting and new the basics and have managed to collect successfully but they were always on fences, fence posts, within walls or bushes but never had I come across that textbook swarm moment where they land in a tree...until a couple of weeks ago that is!!

I work in a at the local primary school and it was at 3:15pm that the swarm decided to fly over...just as the children were getting out...so we had about 300 children, 20 staff and the parent's and younger siblings of those children at the school gates as the swarm flew in and then decided to start to settle in the apple tree in the front school yard. It is a lovely 'knotty' little tree that is about 6 foot tall and the swarm settled on a branch just over 5 foot up....how perfect is that.

There was only a little bit of panic and then I was sort out by several staff members to confirm what the bees were and what could be done about them.

I was more than happy to take a look and confirmed that it was a swarm of honey bees that had clustered in the tree and said I would collect them later...and it was the easiest swarm I have ever collected...

Apple tree in the front school yard.

Nuc underneath, quick branch shake and they're in!

Although it was late in the evening the bees were nice and
calm and quickly started making themselves comfortable!

Lovely looking colony.

So then  it's sit back and wait!!

Quick check in the tree and one last shake!!

Once they were settled I closed up the nuc and then left them to
settle for the night. I returned the following morning...
I  then carried them over to a temporary location
before taking them down to the allotments.

It was only a small swarm and I am presuming a cast with a virgin queen judging on the size so I haven't disturbed them by taking a look inside the hive yet but will do at some point over the next week and hope that the queen has mated and started laying!

I have to say this is the easiest swarm I have ever collected...I'd love a few more like this!!


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