Blooming heck! Two swarms on the same day. One attached itself to Stef’s wrought iron balcony ballustrade clinging both to the vine and the iron work whilst the other was more conveniently placed on the wooden railings underneath the Sycamores. Lis & David donned their suits and cajoled the bees into the swarm boxes with a mixture of smoke, soft brush strokes, shaking and brute force. The bees were not amused by these amateurish approaches and made it clear that they would far rather be left alone to fly in the bright sunshine. However, the forces of nature eventually prevailed and they followed their respective Queens into the boxes and eight hours later all was calm enough for hiving.
What had appeared to be a main swarm turned out to be a caste and this was taken to the Coop’s new apiary at Llanmadoc as it was the first one to calm down. The apiary is in a glade in woodland. The other swarm is now hived in a coop hive in Landimore (or Llandimore as the new bilingual road sign insists).
We are pretty sure that both swarms were from our colonies as there were clear signs of what was to come last weekend. Today we will inspect the hives to effect caste swarm preventive measures by removing any remaining Queen cells after checking that a Queen is in residence. It would be great if Queens could remain productive for 60 years.
Like many colonies across Wales our bees have been short on stores so along with the feeding of our two swarms we have been feeding all our colonies with sugar syrup following advice from FERA