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What do I do if a swarm of bees turns up?

If you have a swarm of bees - DON'T PANIC. The first thing to check is if they are honey bees. If they really are honey bees then ring your local beekeepers association. For more details on how to check what you have got and get help see our swarms page.

If you live near to Bridport in Dorset then you can ring us on 01308 423808.

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Hiving the Nucleus


Sally firing up the smoker Like all good beekeepers should we planned it well and talked over exactly what we were going to do before acting - still forgot the bee brush which would have been so useful mind!

We got together three new frames with foundation, the dummy board, hive tools, smoker, feeder, syrup and camera of course. Then we put on our bee suits and I got the smoker going. A few gentle wafts at the nucleus entrance to let them know we were coming. Throughout the whole event, the bees were so good-natured and calm - definitely scoring a 10 in our hive notes.

We moved the travelling box and put it on another WBC base beside the new hive and put the new clean brood box in position. David cut away the top screen on the travelling box and gently eased out the first frame. I saw her straight away - the queen marked white - busy laying on that first frame. We assembled all the kit we neededWe'd seen her and knew she was safe so really didn't want to distrub the bees more than was necessary as we moved each frame one by one into the new brood box. There were lots of bees, particularly on the first three frames.

A quick look and a few photos enabled us to make a few notes on the make-up of our first colony.

Frames 1 and 2 had sealed brood, pollen and stores - covered in bees it was and quite a bit of bracecomb at the bottom.

Frame 3 had sealed and unsealed brood and some unsealed brood in the bracecomb at the bottom.  It also had some sealed and unsealed honey interspersing the brood with the unsealed brood mostly at the bottom.

Then onto frame 4 and a smaller patch of brood, probably covered by bees by about 50%, some unsealed stores and an outside patch of sealed and unsealed stores.

Then frame 5 was a fairly newly added frame - not sure when - but it had been drawn out on both sides and the bees were filling it with honey.  Once again, a fair covering of bees.

The stray bees keeping to the travelling box were shook into the hive - at least that was the idea but we got most of them and encouraged the rest to enter by the front door.  Where was that bee brush when we needed it?

We added our three new frames plus the dummy board to make frames 6, 7 and 8 and placed a glass quilt on the top so that we could observe the bees without further disturbing them over the week.

The weather was forecast to turn so we added the feeder and then carefully placed the roof in place.

A job well done and next time we'll try to remember the bee brush!
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Posted by sally on Monday 28 April 2008 - 22:11:58 |printer friendly