Sunday, 21 June 2015
I'm very glad that we got a series of hives ready for the summer. In the last week we have caught 3 swarms all in and around the apiary field, one on the fence and two in the small trees. The first one was late in the day the night before my college examiner's visit and so we had to rather unceremoniously drop it into the top of the hive. The second on Friday night was a smaller swarm, possibly a cast, and I was able to set up the ramp with a board and knock them onto the sloping sheet and watch them stream upwards into the hive. Astonishing to watch as they all crawl up the slope and into the hive as if they know what you want them to do, every last one. The swarm this evening was larger and I was on my own to start with but it all went smoothly. I was looking for the queen but didn't see her and they all made their way up the slope again. As they stream into the hive a number of them stop with their abdomens in the air perhaps signalling to the others 'this is the way to a good home'. We put some long grass in the hive entrance to keep them in for a day or two while they become accustomed to the hive and can now only hope that they will settle. Great to gain so much experience in such a short time and I know of at least two other swarms seen in the village in the last week so there could yet be more.
Sunday, 7 June 2015
Great to spend half an hour taking down a couple of hives with Ads while he came to stay with us in sunny Somerset. The queen is still not on top form in the third hive but she's still laying. I can't say it's the most flattering 'look' but here we both are in our bee suits.