The swarm season is late starting this far north, but it's here at last!
The first swarm call of the season - there are bees in a tree in a farm-yard, am I interested, the owner has ladders for access. Am I interested? Of course!! Contact a friend with an empty Warre hive to see if he wants to help and give the bees a home, collect some gear together and off we go.
Upon arrival at the farm and a quick look suggests a very small cast on a main branch of the tree, but the owners first comment is "there are a lot less bees than earlier".
Up the ladder for a closer look and they are making their way into a hole in the tree. They've found a new home on their own! The owners of the property seem quite pleased with their new status as bee guardians and are happy to keep us informed of the bees progress A quick explanation of the benefits of survivor bees and they say they will allow bait hives to be positioned next year (assuming they thrive) ready for when they swarm again.
So, no bees for the Warre today, but the promise of swarms from a feral colony is excellent news! Bees that can survive without our intervention are good stock to breed from!