One colony becomes two as the Liss bees swarm

It was a really exciting Saturday at Liss Junior School today, but none of the children were there to see the events. Mr Stanley had come in to write reports and went up to the field to see how the bees were getting on. (Earlier in the week Mr Haycock and Mr Stanley had checked up on the bees and recognised that the numbers were huge and the bees were likely to swarm as their were some new queen cells.) What he saw was a huge cloud of bees flying around above the nature area. He immediately called Mr Haycock who came into school.

When Mr Haycock arrived they went up to the field again to check on the hives. The colony of bees was still present in the hive  but the numbers were reduced. The next job was to try and find where the bees had gone to. In the event of a swarm the bees will normally go somewhere dark until the scouts have found a new home. Fortunately, they hadn’t gone very far and were clustered in the hedgerow on the edge of the nature area.

The next job was to capture the bees. Mr Haycock and Mr Stanley got a big cardboard box, a sheet and a brush. They placed the box underneath the bees and then brushed the bees into the box. Once they were sure the queen was inside the box was closed and the sheet put over.

The bees were left for an hour while the new hive was prepared. Next, the box was taken to the new hive. Mr Stanley turned it upside down and Mr Haycock swept the bees into their new home. What happened next was amazing. The bees, who hadn’t been swept into the cardboard box initially picked up the queen’s scent and flew over the fence and into the nature area to join the new colony. They crawled up the side of the hive and in at the top.

Beekeeping Club on Tuesday will be concerned with checking how the new colony is settling in its new home.

We would like to ask our friends in Kafuro. Have any of your colonies swarmed yet?

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