At a recent course for beginners I described a perfect swarm collection and I then pointed out that it is not like that – ever. And then we were called out to this swarm.
These bees were at kneeling height and so docile we were able to get in very close without bee suits.
We kitted up and with a pair of secateurs cut three small ivy branches and gently lifted the swarm into the skep.
The remaining bees were swept up with a bee brush onto a piece of cardboard and dropped into the skep.
Within half an hour we had every bee in the skep and none in the air! We put the skep into a sealed box (actually our recycle glass box) and took them off to their new hive. And I really do mean a new hive – new hive, new frames, new foundation – a complete new build.
Well a week has passed and I am pleased to say that they are settled in and doing what bees should be doing.
I have been called out to some very awkward swarm jobs but this was certainly not one of those.