26th September 2012: The rain stopped for long enough to enable Brenda and David to remove the honey bees and their nest from the hawthorn tree, and to place them in a covered wooden container specially made for a situation such as this. In the box went the bees, their nest and a section of the branch it was attached to.
The bees were very good; they didn’t sting me or David. Brenda, protected by her bee suit and a pair of Marigold washing-up gloves, removed the nest from the tree with the aid of a pair of loppers and David, who was not wearing a bee suit.
I didn’t keep track of the time, but it must have taken close to an hour to finish the job. It took quite a while for Brenda to gather the bees that couldn’t grasp that the majority of their compatriots, the queen and the three honey combs were now in a box on the ground and no longer hanging from a tree branch. By the time the job was finished most of the bees were safely in the box. Remarkably, very few bees were left behind.
Brenda will introduce the bees to a hive tomorrow. I’m not sure how she does this, but I know it is not as simple as just tipping them into the hive and letting them get on with it.
The wild honey bees and their nest were removed from the hawthorn tree in order to help them survive the winter, at a time when bees are in short supply as a result of verroa mite infestations.
This might be the end of this bee story, but I am thinking about finding a suitable location on the marsh for a couple of bee hives.