Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: The bees must be busting ...  (Read 2169 times)


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
The bees must be busting ...
« on: April 18, 2018, 12:55:43 am »
Well it's 17 April getting sunny & warm surely some of you will have had hives that have swarmed or been asked to take a prime swarm from a low hanging branch etc. by now.

 One of the best swarm / bee collecting bee events I attended was an old boy of 82  who had four ancient white washed hives that had suddenly become too much for him in the middle of April during atrocious weather was thundery , wet , windy & frequently slashing down with stair rod rain bursts.

 The apiary was situated 1/4 mile away from his house , the parking area was on top of a long defunct rail embankment.  It was thickly surrounded by 20 foot plus hawthorns and quite a lot of young self seeds ones in an open area he'd created for his hives back in the 1970's when he purchased the track bed & bank .

 I went to the hives with Alison in our bee suits, just after a vicious thunderstorm had ceased , the air was wet , windy &  cold but also damp hot & sticky inside the suits.

We discovered two prime swarms below chest height and two heart large shaped half primes close to the four hives  ( hearts are always a good omen when your wife is with you  :eyelashes: )

Back at the car & trailer , in the car I had three specially modified by me ( swimming pool chemical chlorine stuff ) large lidded screw top barrels, additionally  fitted out by me with with two access /exit holes of 20 mm dia ,  one at the top when the barrel was hung from a branch on cords , the other in the bottom ,,  with screw tops to close them off .

They had side vents inserted from the inside made from 3 mm woven mesh stainless steel panels on opposite sides & a slide in out channel set up of plastic channel that was made to secure two brood frames in each barrel  .

I also had my half dozen home made emergency swarm  capture sacks  made from 1/8 inch black mesh Kevlar with draw string tops and a securing toggle .

 I took the prime swarms in the barrels simply by opening the lid and gently tapping the branch they were hanging on , being cold they fell like an inverted tear drop into the barrel,  with very few escaping  or getting annoyed .

One of the second primes also went in a barrel after I'd used a pair of loppers to cut the inch thick hawthorn off and shake the bees  off it into the barrel, then after a few minutes after they had settled down a bit I was able to decant them into one of the collecting sacks which was hung up in the back of the car .

 The final half prime went straight into the last barrel in a similar manner.
 Once the four ancient hive were loaded in the trailer (A real jungle carrying exercise , with each one hung on a long pole & carried between us one at a time ) & everything was secured in the car , we kept out suits on and started to drive the 30 or so miles back home .

 After 14 miles or so we were stopped by a blue light lit police car . .. The copper came to the window , indicated he wanted to speak with me , as I opened the car window  .. bee hood firmly closed up ,  he pushed his face forwards me . It was so funny when he realised that there were a few free flying bees in the car heading for the open window .

 I got out the car to save him from getting stung & walked up to his vehicle . He told me it was illegal to travel in a bee suit with the bee hood up  . I told him it was the recommendations of the British Bee Keeping Association to wear the full closed up suit when having live bees in the car or on the trailer incase you were involved in an accident .
Exit one very embarrassed keen as mustard copper with his squad car mate. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:47:03 pm by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


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