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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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Excitement ... a SWARM !!!

Well it was that sort of day - warm, a bit muggy, rain forecast for the end of the day. We should be on the lookout on days like this.

Then David noticed some bees checking out an old hive at the side of our house. Yes, one we really should have cleaned up but not of the same type as our lovely WBCs so it had been left at the foot of the "to do" list. Definitely scout bees and there seemed to be a few more - probably a dozen or so - an hour or two later. So, were these scout bees looking for their new home? Probably! So how near would they be? Quite close we thought so well worth a look around the village.

We tried to use our senses to determine where it might be - the churchyard perhaps?  Or, with the help of dousing, maybe we could find its exact location.  I got the village map out and was convinced the bees were around the top of the village by the church and David felt they were a little closer to home maybe southside of the village.

A short walk later we had checked out the near vacinity and returned home.  the scout bees were still checking it out and David looked in the direction from whcih they seemed to be coming - probably worth a walk up our neighbours garden, he thought.

Small swarmAnd, hey, there it was - not a large swarm but it was there in an archway with honeysuckle.  What fortunate beekeepers we are.

Now I don't think that was a swarm from our hives - the timing doesn't seem to fit unless it had been hive 2 yesterday of course from a newly emerging queen.  Most likely someone else's though.

Bees around skepWell, we were prepared of course - out came the skep, the brush, the secateurs, the cloth, and on went our suits.  We did light up the smoker but we didn't need to use it.  We laid out the sheet, David cut a couple of branches that the bees were on and I held the skep beneath and in they went.  A few more were brushed into a cardboard box and shook onto the sheet and they found their way in nicely.  And there they have been happily coming and going for the last couple of hours.

Rain is forecast so the plan is to hive them aroudn 7pm but we do need to keep an eye on the weather.  So, watch this space ... more news to follow ...
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Posted by sally on Saturday 24 May 2008 - 17:45:29 |printer friendly