Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bees, Bees and More Bees

Yesterday afternoon, I heard Jackie shout out into the garden from our bedroom window “Allan! Bees! Lots of bees!” I stopped my weeding of the flower border and raced inside up the stairs to be greeted with the hysterical pleas of “Allan get them out!” There certainly were a great many – all of whom should have been outside enjoying the sun. I suppose there were around a hundred and fifty or so making quite a commotion packing in against the inside of the window. “Right let’s open all the windows and get them out,” I said calmly, trying to set an example for my wife,
“You open all the windows!” demanded Jackie, “I’ve nearly been stung twice!” After a couple of minutes of gentle persuasion with my faithful badminton racquet, they were all out. “That’s a job well done,” Jackie applauded, “I’m going to try a little sun bathing as the weather is so glorious!” Off she went to take up her favourite sun bathing spot up under a big old ash tree towards the top of the garden; I sat nearer the house re-tying some fishing flies that needed repair.

After what seemed the shortest of time one started to hear a buzzing sound, starting to get louder and louder, eventually resembling the noise of a small Hercules aircraft. I then looked up to the end gable of the house and there was black cloud of bees! They were so striking in number, a truly magnificent swarm. This happens when the Queen bee gets hot and uncomfortable and decides she wants a change - that change being starting a new home in our attic. After a few minutes I went and found my camera and took a few photos and short film; the afternoon had turned out to be extremely exciting. Once anyone witnesses a bee swarm on a gloriously sunny afternoon, it will stay with them forever as a scene of nature at her very best. The good news is that that’s the largest wild bee swarm I’ve seen in a very long time. To see bees swarm used to be a common enough sight but, with dwindling bee numbers, it’s now much rarer so I was over the moon with this fine sight. After a short while of the bees to-ing and fro-ing, the swarm subsided as they settled in their new home. Jackie walked down from the garden looking extremely relaxed but quite dazed in the sunshine. “Everything alright?” she quizzed.
“You’ve missed an incredible bee swarm!” I explained.
“Great! Where did they go?” she asked.
“Up into the attic!” was my reply. I’ll never figure out why, but she didn’t look quite so relaxed upon hearing this news. Did I mention that our bedroom is in the attic? 

A swarm of this size would produce approx. 60lbs of honey a year.

They came in through the round window!

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