Having come through the winter successfully with our 4 colonies, guess what – we are now 8!!
The hive, in the middle of Elgin, which had swarmed two weeks ago now has again. After our experience last year we have been super vigilant re signs of swarming but, quite clearly, not vigilant enough. Anyway, we collected the swarm but none of this ‘shake the cluster into your skep and hey presto stuff’ – no the swarm was spread along 5 metres of privet hedge, in the next road to ours. I remembered the word ‘cavalier’ from last year and quickly discovered that if I ‘patted’ the bees which weren’t in the main cluster away from their ‘outpost’ they gravitated towards the main ‘clump’.
They are now safe at home, in a nucleus box, and it is full to busting.
Clearly our site which is in the middle of lots of ‘gardener’s gardens’ is doing incredibley well. Perhaps I will use it as a position where I can strengthen weak colonies. Do I need to say that any thoughts on this would be VERY welcome?