The arrival of the bees

The arrival of the bees

A few months in the past, I put a bait hive out in my backyard. An empty Nationwide brood field, aside from a darkish previous brood comb pushed to 1 facet and a few lemongrass oil smeared on the partitions. Then I waited.

At first… nothing. However then… I noticed some bees coming out and in, inspecting the empty premises. The following day, it was clear one thing was afoot. Increasingly more bees may very well be seen across the entrance, till the air in my backyard was crammed with lots of buzzing bees. I went and stood outdoors, wanting on the sheer variety of them. You possibly can see them towards the white wall within the pictures beneath.

The swarm descends

The swarm descends

Bees fill the air

Bees fill the air

However typically life isn’t straightforward, and so this was not fairly so simple as I hoped. The bees had come to me – improbable – however they’d additionally landed not inside however below the bait hive.

Bees under the hive

Swarm below the hive

The following day, I went out in my beesuit and tried to assemble them up. I used some extremely specialist tools for this job – a bee brush and a bucket. Though this was clearly a simple place to assemble a swarm from, it nonetheless meant a bit of compressing myself below the picnic desk, hovering holding the bucket with one hand whereas brushing the bees in with the opposite as gently as attainable.

Simply within the area of about 24 hours, they’d made the gorgeous, pristine comb beneath, which the swarm was gathered on below the desk. The wax is produced by glands of their stomach, which they then chew and manipulate into the superbly shaped honeycomb shapes utilizing their mandibles. Fairly wonderful when you concentrate on it.

Fresh comb

Freshly made new comb

My first try failed and the bees rapidly reversed to hanging out below the desk. I noticed I have to not have gathered up the queen, so that they had all returned to her.

On my second try, I attempted to verify to get nearly each single bee. This time the bees lined up on high of the frames, lifted their bottoms and fanned their Nasonov glands, which I took as an excellent signal. They have been telling the opposite bees that this was now dwelling.

Putting the bees in the hive

Placing the bees within the hive

A few months later, the bees are nonetheless right here. I’ve named the brand new queen Lowen, which suggests ‘Joyful’ in Cornish.

About Emily Scott

I’m a UK beekeeper who has lately moved from London to windswept, moist Cornwall. I first began protecting bees within the Ealing Beekeepers Affiliation’s native apiary in 2008, once I created this weblog as a file for myself of my numerous beekeeping associated disasters and – hopefully! – future successes.