Oxford Bees

Late swarm

Submitted by will on Tue, 02/08/2016 - 21:17

I was called today to collect a late swarm from Barton. The woman who called me says that it is the 5th swarm this season to leave a nearby feral colony.

The feral colony is living in an air brick in a house about 30m from the apple tree where the swarm was clustered. The swarm emerged on Friday. Today is Tuesday. She'd expected them to disperse but there they were.

Collection was simple. Shake them from a branch at head height into a nucleus box. Leave for 5-10 minutes. Thank everyone and remove.

Happy Bees, and a correction about roaring

Submitted by will on Tue, 19/07/2016 - 14:51

There's a honey flow on. All the hives in my out-apiary have stores now and there's a lot of activity. The bees are noticeably better tempered.

The roaring that I heard recently was probably the bees fanning, to cool the hive and evaporate excess water from the honey. I knocked on the side of A Hive this morning (the one which roared); they revved for a moment and then calmed down. Not queenless, just busy.

Fear

Submitted by will on Mon, 18/07/2016 - 07:16

There are times when I'm scared of the bees.

Two of my hives contain very large colonies and, this season, they've been unhappy when I've looked inside. They've also been unhappy when I've watched from over 2 metres away - a bee will investigate and then attack. This is new behaviour from my home hive and fear is a new feeling for me.

The defensive behaviour of Hive A might be due to the time of year but I suspect that they've replaced their Queen. Her temperament should be the same as before but she may have mated with a drone with a more defensive temperament.