Sunday 18 October 2015

Removing a colony of bees from Avoncroft Museum

Avoncroft Museum of buildings ( have a good relationship with my local beekeeping association, North East Worcestershire Beekeeping Association (  We are called in from time to time to remove swarms from their buildings.  One building, the 'String of Horses', seems to have a fascination for bees, with swarms regularly landing there.

A year or so ago one of these swarms found its way into the building and set up home under the floorboards of the loft.  It didn't cause a problem at the time because the colony was small, and the bees had an exit high up, and away from the public.  However, it must have been a good spot for the bees, because the colony prospered and, by this summer there were rather a lot of bees living there.  Unfortunately, the 'String of Horses' is used as the museum tea room, and the upstairs room is used for exhibitions.  The bees had to go!
Alex Bignall and I decided to try and relocate the bees to the club apiary.  This is much harder than collecting a swarm, because the bees in a swarm have not settled on a home, so they can be moved.  In this case we had to try to find the queen and move her and the brood to a new hive.

Jeremy Broad came along to film us and made the video below.  As well as his video skills, Jeremy is the son of a beekeeper and so was not bothered, or indeed surprised, when he got stung during the making of the video!