Sunday, June 02, 2013

Swarm Season

Last weekend a swarm turned up in my garden. This happens now and again; they are attracted to the smell of the apiary. Today I was in the apiary, checking the hives, and I heard a furious buzzing behind me. I thought one of the hives I had already looked at had decided to protest. But no; as I looked over my shoulder I could see a swarm of bees come over my hedge. I got a nice shot of them; they filled the air and it was fascinating to watch them decide where they wanted to land, and then see how they settle and cluster. 
Soon they came together in one of my hazel trees and fortunately at a nice shoulder height. I left them for a little while and then started to cut around them so I could get to the cluster easily. I then got my trusty swarm catching sheet under the swarm (in case I dropped them - you never know!), my cardboard box directly under the cluster and then stepped in with my secateurs and cut the branch they were holding onto - carefully holding the swarm cluster end of the branch! You can see in the video below that the branch cut cleanly and I managed to get the cluster of bees safely out of the tree without disturbing them...

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