This morning I returned to the workshop to check on the previous days swarm from Gwenyn Mel 2. I peeked inside the window and was greeted by the sight of a mass of bees… Excellent… I thought, they like their new home…
At this point I decided to phone my Warré beekeeping friend and guru that is David Heaf. We were have a nice chat about the bees and other bee related lines of conversation when I noticed that the bees in the Warré hive had decided that the Warré was just not quite adequate enough for them. Hundreds, then thousands of them were pouring out of the hive and getting ready to swarm again. Thankfully I was speaking with David who gave me short and simple advice to fix this little quandary.
Time to don the suit and gloves again and get the box ready to collect the absconded bees. Without hesitation they went into the same field as yesterday, probably ready to have a laugh at my expense watching me clamber over that fence again. This time though they decided to go that little further and thankfully for me settled on some ferns about 3 foot off the ground around 200 metres away in the next field over again.
I really did not want to lose this prime swarm from Gwenyn Mel 2, they were a large swarm who have worked wonders so far this year, and as it happens, came from the swarm that I collected last August 29th 2012 which thinking back now was quite a memorable day.
Well the bees are now in the box, time to return them immediately to their Warré with one slight modification. Once again the bees has changed my plans for the day but I intended this to be as swift as it could possibly bee.
After another debacle, climbing over the fence, I headed straight for my workshop to collect a queen excluder. The bees were placed nearby the hive while I got it ready for their arrival. Time to remove the roof, quilt, top bar cloth and top bars and place all of it to one side, as I placed a queen excluder between the bottom box and next box up. It is a somewhat surreal experience transferring bees from cylindrical container to a hive, literally pouring bees from one box into another and using a brush to gently persuade the others to go in also.
I returned the top bars, top bar cloth, quilt and roof as quickly as possible without causing more disruption to them. The reason for the queen excluder this time it to prevent the queen passing through into the bottom box and absconding again, taking the rest of them for another adventure. The queen excluder will stay in situ for a couple of days just to ensure that they decide to settle in this home, so they can make it their own.
After allowing them to settle down, the visible signs of the queen inside were becoming apparent, with bees heading into the Warré hive and bee bums raised in the air telling all others to head this way, excellent…
Time for reflection and calm now…
So as I lay down beside them to watch them regain order from their adventure from the previous hour, I begin making films and taking more photos, not only for my memory, but also so that I can share my experiences with you, as I’m sure you want to have a small insight into our adventures.
Hopefully my record of photos and films will inspire you or others to get involved with bees or maybe even help you one day if you so happen to bee in a similar situation yourself.
Anyway, time now for me log off and have some nice happy dreams.