Wednesday 31st October:
We have a swarm of bees inside the wall of our house. They arrived sometime on Tuesday we think. I was at work in the afternoon, and John noticed a lot of bees flying around outside. They were going in & out of a grill at the base of the brick wall. If you put your ear to the bedroom wall inside, you could hear them buzzing. Later in the evening when the temperature had dropped they were quiet, as though settled for the night.
John remembers another swarm a long time ago (before we met) taking up residence in the same wall, and wondered if there was still honey in there to attract these ones.
Conveniently Brian, our kitchen installer, is also a beekeeper – a man of many talents. 🙂 So he called in today, dressed up in his beekeeper suit, and put a one-way box against the grill – the idea is the bees can go into it but can’t get back out. Hopefully they will all go into the other box he left, which has pollen in it to attract them, and he will be able to take them back to his own hives.
I was curious to see what was happening, but also a bit wary of the bees, as the last time I had a beesting, many years ago, I had a strange reaction several hours later. I think it was a coincidence, maybe some virus I had picked up, but I woke up in the night with my teeth chattering and couldn’t stop shaking for a while. I don’t recall having a fever at the time. My Dad in later life has become allergic to beestings, and Mum had to call the ambulance at least once when he dropped his blood pressure and collapsed after being stung. Then he was issued with an adrenaline kit and a Medic-Alert bracelet. I’m not sure he knows where these are anymore, it was years ago now and he thankfully hasn’t been stung again.
Watching Brian at work brought up all sorts of questions such as ‘how many bees in a swarm?’ / ‘how do you entice the queen out?’ / ‘what happens if she doesn’t come out?’ and other interesting information such as how bee society works, how long they live, why they swarm etc. It made me realise how much I didn’t know.
It seems there have been a few swarms in the area over the last couple of days. Brian thinks it’s because its the first really warm and settled weather we’ve had. Summer’s coming…!
Brian in his beekeepers suit – could have been a Halloween costume!
Brian with the mini-beehive (box with pollen)
Bee boxes on the wall – the one on the right is a one-way system (out but not in). The one on the left contained pollen. All other entrance / exit routes (such as the grooves between bricks) had to be blocked.
Bee resting on swan plant
Now we had to wait and see – would the plan work?
To bee continued….. 😉