bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Caught in the act

I arrived at one apiary today (Saturday) wondering why my bees always seem to swarm on weekdays. Yes, you've guessed it, a swarm was in progress -- the first I've ever witnessed leaving the hive (largely because my bees are in out-apiaries and not in the garden).

Posted by Hello

The air was alive with tens of thousands of bees in flight. I couldn't even tell which hive they were coming from. I've heard that when a swarm is happening any bees around may join in, enthused by the general excitement.

Posted by Hello

The swarm eventually settled high up in the branches of a blackthorn bush (just above the apex of the hive, in the middle distance). It was out of reach so I attempted to dislodge the bees with a long branch (non-beekeepers are strongly advised not to do this as the bees will become very testy and are likely to sting anyone in the vicinity). They weren't amused, but some of those forced into the air again made their way back to their original hives (showing that both hives had joined in).

I didn't have time to retrieve the swarm tonight, but they are still there, so I'll be back tomorrow morning with ladder and saw.


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