Sorry for the terrible pun but I just couldn’t resist it.
I’ve been taking bee-keeping lessons on and off for the last few years. I’d finally got round to getting my hives but thought I’d missed the boat this year to go and collect a swarm. However, I received an e-mail from a friend who said she knew of someone who had come down to a holiday home and discovered a bee’s nest between a window and its shutters and did I know of anyone who could remove it.
Well, I’d only held a frame of bees once but luckily one of the members of the local bee group I’m with, (Martyn), had been to assist in the removal of one of these nests and was eager to have a go himself. I wanted bees so despite the distance away the bees were we decided we’d remove them.
The bees had built their combs over the handle of the shutters so we couldn’t get at the nest from the outside but the window was really easy to get at from the inside.
We tentatively opened the window and applied some smoke. Some of the flying bees came into the room but most of the bees remained on the comb and Martyn then cut the comb to size and detached it from the window. We attached the comb to the frames with elastic bands and placed the combs and as many bees as we could collect into the Langstroth hive I’d brought along. Considering we were in effect destroying their home, the bees were remarkably good tempered, something I’m really happy about.
We then had to do something we’d rather not have had to do. We had to abandon and destroy the bees that hadn’t stayed with the comb. Normally we would have left the hive for a day or two and collected it a following evening when hopefully most of the flying bees would have gone back onto the comb. Unfortunately, one of the occupants of the house suffers from anaphylactic shock from bee stings and because of that we had to remove the bees as soon as possible.
But I am now a bee-keeper and there should be more bee posts to follow.