On Saturday after lunch we went out in the garden. Flo said that she thought the bees were swarming, I said that I didn't think so as they'd been really busy and noisy the day before. We went to look anyway and lo and behold the sky near the hives was just a mass of bees. I hoped it was a swarm coming in to one of our empty ones but no it was one of our going out. Luckily it landed in a bush in the neighbours garden. I let if settle and phoned Griff for instructions. Normally he looks after the bees, I'm not very keen on them but I do know that swarming bees tend to be good tempered as they are on a fun mission and these are slovenian bees that are supposed to be nice natured anyway. Also I didn't want to loose them as we had a hive die off in the winter.
I put a film on for the kids and prepared a box for them, it was a half hive that we had bought the swarms in the year before, I kitted up and got the smoker going. I put the box under the swarm and shook the branch hard. Half the bees fell in the box and the rest on the floor, fortuantly they started to climb up the sides and go in. There were still some bees on the branch and the queen was one of them. She has a blue paint spot on her back. I carried on shaking as bees were coming back to the branch all the time. At one point I saw her fly but didn't see were she went. After a while I put a lid on the box so it was harder for the bees to get out and went and got another just in case I still didn't have the queen but this time they just flew straight out and the ones in the other box had already started to seal the lid down so I decided it was time to leave them and wait to see if they all went in the box or back up onto the branch. I got the kids off to their friends birthday party and went back an hour later. Whoopee they were all in the box. I was so pleased with myself, I'd done something I'd never done before and hadn't been agressed or stung, what a feeling! I waited till dusk and bought the box home. I lifted out the frames put them in an empty hive here at home and shook in the rest.
Sunday was rainy so I put a bag of soaked sugar in the top of the hive for them to eat as they had no reserves. Thank goodness I got them as they wouldn't have survived the rain on Saturday night in the bush they had chosen.
They are still there and flying well. I took some frames of honey from the hive that the swarm had come out off and gave them some empty ones to try and prevent them swarming again, so far so good and the honey is liquid, pure and delicious.