The NBU Regional Bee Inspector advises not to leave any comb in the hive when hiving new swarms because of the local AFB outbreak. Two days ago I put the bees into the hive but I had to remove several frames. Today I opened the hive and put clean, comb-free frames back in.
There is an outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in central Oxford at the moment.
AFB affects very young brood inside the nest and is very serious. Its bacterial spores are transmitted through infected honey.
The bees fill their stomachs with honey when they swarm, so I've been advised that a new swarm should be forced to use up all of this stored honey to remove the chance of transmission. In practice this means:
I set up 2 hives a few weeks ago and registered with swarm officers. I've been waiting, but the weather has been relatively cold (air temp at 10am was greater than 15C only on 7th-10th and 12th May - source Radcliffe Observatory).
At about midday yesterday I was told about a swarm in Risinghurst. I took my swarm catching kit (bee suit; bee brush; cardboard box; gaffer tape) and found it in a very easy position. The swarm was on a hedge next to the pavement at chest level. I put the lip of the box beneath the swarm and gave a vigorous shake. In they went.