A swarm of bees travels from Castle Hill to Lewisham

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The swarm of bees, hanging off a tree branch
The swarm of bees, hanging off a tree branch

On Sunday I received a call from a Daniel, fellow beekeeper, to say that a swarm had been reported in Castle Hill.

Since I’m in the market for bees, I dropped everything and headed out North West. (Luckily I’ve been keeping a complete “swarm kit” in my boot for this purpose.)

The property is owned by Ron, who has a single Lansgstroth hive in his front garden. He actually saw the swarm leave his hive, and fly up into the adjacent tree.

Not the most convenient place for the swarm to land...
Not the most convenient place for the swarm to land (you can see Ron’s hive in the background, painted green).

While the swarm was a good size, it was 10′ up the tree, making logistics a bit challenging. With the help of Ron, we pulled the branch down a little with rope. I then went up the ladder, and sawed off the branch.

The swarm was shaken into my waiting boxes...
The swarm was shaken into my waiting boxes…

My hive was setup on the ground, with frames in the bottom box, and the top box empty. I shook the bees from the branch into the hive, but a heap of bees were still flying around.

We waited. After 10mins, the number of flying bees was visibly less. After 15mins, pretty much all the bees were in the hive, and I declared victory. The lid went on, and the hive was strapped up for the drive home.

When I got home, I took the bees up on the roof, and opened up the box. Within minutes there was a huge cloud of bees around the house, which was very odd!

As it turned out, the bees swarmed again the moment I opened up the box. And then decided that the bait hive sitting just 50cms away would be much better, and they swarmed into that.

So all’s well that ended well, and I’m the proud owner of two hives of bees 🙂

Now I just need some bees for my new top-bar hive, and for a hive at a friend’s house…

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3 thoughts on “A swarm of bees travels from Castle Hill to Lewisham

    solarbeez said:
    October 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    That worked out well. The bees picked the hive. Now they will be more likely to stay. Congratulations. I wonder why Ron didn’t want to keep it?

      James responded:
      October 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Ron already had three hives: one in front of his house, a second at his son’s house, and a third somewhere else. So he’d decided that was enough! 🙂

    Swarms and more swarms « Lewisham House said:
    November 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

    […] Hill: as previously blogged, an easy going swarm in a tree, caught by cutting off the tree branch and shaking into a […]

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