I got a call from Roger (entries passim) asking me if I wanted to collect a swarm.
I took my home-made nuc box and set off at high speed.
When I arrived onsite the owners of the property told me that the swarm was enormous and was hanging from a tree. But now the swarm was all in the undergrowth on a gravel path.
Mrs Owner was terrified of bees. But I shared her state of fear when a huge hornet started cruising the area. Was it after the bees? Hornets certainly like to eat bees by the dozen. They tear off the bee's head and eat the contents of the honey stomach. Nature, eh?
Photo above shows alarming faith in the strength of surgical tape - which was the only stick tape I could find in the rush. But the polycarbonate roof is good feature - at least you can see what's going on.
Mistake number one: I was concerned about the onlookers, so rather than shake the bees into the box (and putting bees into the air), I put in some of the undergrowth. Which meant that when I got it back to the house and the bees were hoping for an early night, I turfed them all out whilst I removed the branches.
Here they all are, trying to get back in through the two entrance holes - which you can't see for bees.
They were clustered to the roof when I opened it - and festooning ready to make comb.
I have given them three frames of foundation and a frame of ivy honey from last year (see previous entry). So now I'll let them get on with it for a fortnight, and post better photos when I next open them.