The club maintains a list of suitably trained and experienced beekeepers whom are willing to collect swarms as a public service. To join our club’s Swarm Collectors List, beekeepers should be an active and known member of the association.
At the 21st April ’21 Committee Meeting it was agreed that from 2022 we will implement the process detailed here for our members to be added to the Swarm Collectors List.
Please contact the Membership Secretary if you have any queries relating to this.
We have featured a number of swarm stories this month. If you have a swarm story and pictures to go with it send them to us and we will share them in the newsletter.
Every swarm is different and needs a different technique to collect safely and successfully.
So tell us your story and help other beekeepers to learn from your experiences. The club is putting together a swarm policy with information on how to get on the swarm list in your area (coming soon)
Kate and Charles were called by a worried motorist in Stafford recently. ‘There are bees all over my bonnet’ said the car owner. By the time our intrepid beekeepers had arrived at the scene, the bees had settled and were admiring themselves in the door mirror. Charles noticed a larger group of bees hanging under the mirror and thought, ah ha, the queen might just be in there.
With Kate holding the box he slowly gathered as many bees as he could in his hands and deposited them in to the nuc, and sure enough the remaining bees joined the queen in their new home. Result, one happy motorist and two very satisfied bee rescuers. The End
Keith Thompson asks the question: ‘How do you remove a swarm of bees from a building?’
..and the answer according to Keith is: ‘With a boomloader and a bee vac’. NB: The bees are located at the top right hand corner of the open window
Kate and Jo with the huge swarm that they collected from the clean store on 14th June. The bees had already picked their hive and were making comb!
It all started during a beginners Saturday morning session at Shugborough whilst we were talking to members about swarm management.
Somebody said, ‘there are a lot of bees in the air, is it a swarm?’ No, we all said together, it isn’t our bees.
But of course it was and eagle-eyed Jo noticed that they were very interested in a cone on one of the fence posts nearby.
So after the session was finished we went to investigate, sure enough there they all were neatly tucked up inside the cone where we couldn’t see them. Somebody commented that they weren’t in the cone but Jo was adamant that she had seen them go in. Jo was right and a sharp tap of the cone on a nuc box transferred them swiftly to their new home, queen and all.
A few weeks later and they are building up nicely so no need to ‘cone off’ the area after all!
On Sunday May 16th, on a day of light rain with clear intervals and a few minutes after leaving to walk the short distance home, Jannice who had been trimming my beard phoned to report a swarm on the outside of my boundary fence, which runs alongside the pavement of a side road.
Showing considerable initiative, she also took a photograph of the swarm.
Being helpless in such a situation, I rang Stuart who arrived in rapid time and quickly brushed the swarm into a nucleus box and was away, even declining the offer of a beer, leaving me to ponder on the sequence of events.
The following morning at 7.30 a.m. the four colonies in the back garden were checked by Stuart and pronounced to be queen right, so they weren’t the culprits.
Jannice would claim that there was no swarm on the fence when she walked past the first time, when the usual light rain had come to an end. Thirty five minutes later, the swarm was on the fence and one hour later, the rain was teeming down.
There are no beekeepers in the vicinity and one would not expect bees to be swarming within the weather pattern at that time. A mystery indeed.
One can only speculate what might have been the possible outcome when children and mothers would have been within touching distance of the of the swarm when walking to Primary school the following morning…
Stafford Bee Group offers a programme of lectures on beekeeping as well as other related subjects. To find out what’s going on, head over to the new Stafford Bee Group website: staffordbeegroup.org to see more information and register for future events.
The next lecture is on Thursday 4th March 2021 at 7:30pm: Swarms, Swarming and Swarm Management Roger Patterson is back to deliver the members’ lecture choice on the 4th March; swarms, swarming and swarm management.
Roger started keeping bees in 1963, is a writer and speaker, and owns and manages Dave Cushman’s website. He encourages beekeepers to use simple management techniques and to keep good tempered, healthy and productive bees that suit their location.