Oxford Bees

A swarm settles in and I fail to recover it

Submitted by will on Fri, 19/05/2017 - 06:17

There is a swarm near my out-apiary which may have come from my hives. I tried to retrieve it this early morning.
I think that these bees have ceased to behave like a swarm and will settle on the tree. They didn't move yesterday when the weather was good. It's due to be showery again today.

I went back to the swarm this morning at 0430hrs. It's about 8m from the ground, on a tree immediately outside the building where my apiary is sited. The thought struck me that I might get it down with some fishing line and a spoon.

I threw the spoon and line out over the branch and let it trail to the ground. I cautiously dropped the spool of line and then went down. I put a white sheet out and a box. I gave the branch a good, hard shake. It turns out that bees hang on very tightly.

After a few more hard shakes my 5.5kg mono-filament fishing broke. I tried again with the same result. Stronger line might have helped.

A few bees fell out. I've put them into my bait hive in the vague hope that they'll tell the swarm. I don't expect that to work but it was somewhere safe to put them, away from people.

My concern is that this colony will become a nuisance once it starts getting robbed in earnest. It's 8m from the ground, so maybe not. I would prefer not to find out. I wonder where to get a Cherry-Picker...