Having passed my details to various people at the Honey Bee Health Day, I wasn’t expecting to hear from anyone anytime soon about bees being available.
To my surprise, the following Tuesday evening, I got a call from an elderly sounding gentlemen saying he’d got my number from a beekeeper at the course and could I come and catch a swarm at 7am the following morning! A SWARM!! Slightly panicked, I said I was a just a beginner and he said “I’ll help you, come along for 8am”!
I though I was going to be sick! The hive was still sitting in the kitchen, the site hadn’t been prepared and and and…
We quickly got the boys back out of bed and, in their onesies, we took the hive to the site, prepared the ground and then I didn’t sleep much!
I duly turned up the following morning for my first attempt at catching a swarm. Sandy was indeed elderly but, having kept killer bees in Zimbabwe, he had a wealth of knowledge and experience to cover my inexperience. Unfortunately, the swarm was stuck in a weeping willow tree and, not wanting to destroy the tree, we couldn’t get the swarm out. I felt both exhilarated and disappointed. I wasn’t getting bees after all but, I had faced a large swarm of bees, coped with hundreds attached to my suit and managed a stray bee inside my hood crawling across my face!
We were ready now. And when I say we, I mean all 4 of us. It had got addictive