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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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Swarm safely hived

Amazing or what?!

Seriously, if you've never seen it you really must (unless you're not into bees of course!). We waited until 7pm. the rain was forecast but it was just the wind that was getting up so far but we thought it safest to hive then rather than waiting until dusk. Hopefully any stray bees would find the new hive. After all it wasn't far away - only in the next garden!

David carefully scooped the sheet up around the skep and tied it off at the top and carried it around to the hive we had prepared in our garden apiary. We then untied the sheet, leaving the skep in place, and, as it was windy, pegged the sheet onto the board that we had placed up to the hive entrance so there was a nice incline from the ground to the hive entrance covered with a smooth white cloth.

Then, I got to do the exciting bit!  I shook the bees out of the skep onto the sheet.  A moment or two whilst the bees sorted their heads out and then gradually they all started walking up the incline into the entrance to the hive.  Then they're all, bums up in the air, nasanoving away to attract their sisters.  It took all of about 20 minutes and we only had the stragglers to coax.  We didn't spot the queen but I reckon I know the point she entered, just before the bees adopted their orderly trot into the hive, when it there was absolutely no doubt they knew where they were headed.

We gathered a few stragglers who had lingered in next door's garden (brushing them into a box and passing them over the garden fence to shake onto the sheet).  Then we put a few obstacles at the hive entrance, bits of foliage to cause the bees to stop and think when they emerge in the morning so that they orientate themselves to their new home.

Anyway, let's hope as they've entered their new home quite happily of their own volition that they'll stay put and not fly off tomorrow!  They do have a brood box filled with new foundation ready for them to do their stuff.  So, welcome ladies, welcome.
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Posted by sally on Saturday 24 May 2008 - 22:14:01 |printer friendly