Bee bedlam before bed! The inspiration for this blog!
The swarm caught by Colin in July, which was left with Sandy, was being returned to me! However, Sandy’s apiary was not more that 3 miles away from my apiary. In order to move them, and not have them return to Sandy’s, we were going to temporarily move them 3 miles away for 1 week, then bring them back again. By doing this, we hoped to reset their satnav. Easy!
Again, transportation has to be done late evening to ensure all the bees had retuned to the hive. So, last Wednesday we strapped the hive up and put it in the boot. Unfortunately, we left it slightly too late and arrived at our destination after dark. Torches at the ready, we opened the boot to find the hive had moved and hundreds had escaped.
More escaped when we put the hive back into position and wrapped it in a blanket. Fortunately, the four of use were suited but Sandy was not! Stuart and I dealt with the bees, Sam shone the torches while Sandy and Joe took refuge 20 metres away, under a tree, in the pitch dark.
By torchlight, Stuart carried the heavy hive of angry bees through a wood and over a potato field to their new location.
It took some time to clear ourselves and the car of bees. We drove off with the windows open and hoped any remaining bees would find their way out! For beginners, we’ve covered a fair few interesting moments!
However, in all seriousness, it was a bad beekeeper moment – bees died. The moral of the story is: make sure that straps are tight and hives don’t move!
I was relieved to see bees flying in and out when we returned the next day to add a feeder and a more stable floor. We returned again yesterday to swap the brood box. We had a quick look at the frames and it’s not a big colony but it seems to have survived this trauma. Now with a more stable floor and brood box in position, hopefully the return move will go without a hitch!