What an end of June it has been! We caught three swarms in eight days – with not much time to blog in between! They were: (Prior’s Heath (20th), Hawkhurst (24th) & Kilndown (28th).
The one from Prior’s Heath was superb – stuck on a pergola. We placed one of the nucs that we got from the beekeeper from Essex earlier in the season upside down on top of the pergola and smoked the bees up into the box. They were well behaved. This system works well – and better than shaking them as they don’t disturb the bees so much. At least that is what I reckon. Sweeping or shaking them makes them fly more.
Used the same technique on the ones from Hawkhurst – this time the bees went in very quickly. What also worked well this time was putting the lid on the nuc and turning it the right way up to collect the last remaining bees that were flying around. We probably only left one or two bees flying. Quite satisfying.
The third swarm from Kilndown had been in a tree for over 36 hours! They were quite tired and ready to find a new home. Again, smoking up into the box to get the queen in and then turning up the right way to put the lid on worked a treat!
We now have seven colonies in the apiary – including the four swarms we have caught this season. Not bad from the start of the year with only one colony!
Faith also swarmed – and has left about half the bees.
At the same time we decided to get the outside of the house painted and on the day we caught the last swarm, the one that settled in our roof itself decided to swarm! There is still a small colony there – but we might collect them in before the winter gets them.
June has surely been a month of swarms and lots of silver spoons!