As promised to keep you posted, Tony returned the next day and rounded up a cast that had been left behind, and were hanging in a ball on the branch where the original swarm had been. unfortunately they didn’t stay, but we think went off to find the original swarm which by now had set up home in an old tree a few hundred yards away.
I was quite disappointed as I wanted to ‘do my bit ‘for bee conservation, but Tony promised to bring me another small colony as soon as he had a spare. The bees have all been swarming early this year and as a local beekeeper he’s had a lot more call outs than usual…….so last evening I got a call from him and he appeared with a hive and young colony at about 8pm last night. We’ve put the hive at the bottom of the garden in a secluded corner by an old unused summer house. I hope they’ll be happy there we’ve got lots of flowers for them to collect nectar so who knows we may be eating ‘Jericho ‘honey in the autumn. Must ask the Essex Beekeepers assn. about labelling!
All we’ve got to do is to protect them from rogue wasps…… there are lots of them around this year too, and I’m afraid I don’t want them anywhere near the bees.It was a colony of wasps that killed off our previous bee colony under our eves about 15 years ago. Wasps do make the most amazing structures and they’re not all bad …….they eat aphids …… but I’d rather have a few aphids in the roses and a happy colony of honey bees than wasps anywhere near my garden!!
This wasp nest was discovered in a neighbours shed the same day as my hive of young bees was delivered! It has sadly had to be destroyed, to protect both my bees and my customers in the teashop. These incredible structures are made from a form of paper, made by the wasps chewing wood on fences etc and spreading the resulting product with their mandibles and front legs.
Wasp control is not something I would recommend unless you are an expert, we were lucky Tony our local beekeeper dealt with it complete with protective clothing. They can swarm and attack when under threat so call out the experts if you have a similar problem!!!!