Have you ever tried sweeping up bees from grass? I don’t recommend it.
Last week I collected a swarm – it was massive and hanging from one of our small hedging plants. As I am a bad beekeeper I used big loppers to hack at the hedging plant – but then I didn’t have a hand free to hold the branch so it fell – gravity does that. The bees flowed onto the ground in slow-motion which was neat to see but didn’t help in terms of capturing the swarm.
Anyway, to cut a long story short – it took four attempts over a few hours to collect the swarm – luckily for me they kept regrouping on nearby branches.
I put them into an empty osb box with another box with frames on top.
I kept my fingers crossed, but didn’t hold out too much hope.
While I waited for James to make the roof (which hadn’t got made before) I lay on the ground watching the sky. Can you see the rip in my veil that I stitched up? I forgot it isn’t a good idea to try and scratch your nose with a hive tool – it just rips your veil.
I checked on the bees a few days later and removed the bottom empty box. They had started to draw out comb and there were eggs!
Next to the swarm hive is my most prolific hive this year – currently at one brood box, two supers and now two osbs all full of bees, brood and honey.