Sunday, 22 July 2012
Every year I get phone calls from people who have a swarm in their garden. Once I have checked that the 'swarm' are not wasps or bumblebees I will usually go out and collect it. This should be as simple as putting the bees into a skep (looks like a wicker waste paper basket) taking them to the apiary and putting the bees into a new hive. However the bees this year don't seem to be reading the same book as me!
I was called on Saturday afternoon and told that there was a swarm at my apiary at Hanbury Hall. The swarm was not in the way and the gardeners quite liked pointing out the bees to the visitors. I have been caught out by rushing to collect swarms too quickly in the past. I think the bees like their 'taste of freedom' and if you try to put them in a hive too soon then they don't remember that they have swarmed and so they leave their new hive and swarm again.