We caught the first swarm of bees for this season on Monday night. It was 18ft up in a bush in a nearby village – very late in the season for the first swarm because of all of the wet weather we have had in April. I had to use an extension to my long pole (used for painting) to get the box up high enough. Luckily Dennis (whose garden it was) had an additional 3 poles which I used both to extend my pole as well as get the smoker up there with a further two! Very Heath Robinson!
The photo looks as though I am trying to catch the sun!
Here is a close-up of the contraption holding the box that I caught the swarm in – the sun was a bit out of reach!
Having inspected the hives on the previous Saturday, the hive called Faith is still very weak from over-wintering and I somehow doubt will survive – as I have now tried to re-queen her twice. We therefore decided to call this swarm Hope to keep the spirit of our three first hives that we started back in 2004 – Faith, Hope and Charity. The original Hope and Charity hives died off in 2005/06, but Faith has kept going since then and has produced some of the finest honey-crops.
Oh – and it was luck that the place that we caught the hive in started with an H – so we stuck to the Bee Law of naming the hives from the first letter of the place that they were caught!
Hence we are losing Faith (although not all is lost) and we are gaining Hope! Not a bad place to bee!
More bee law and bee lore at one of my other blogs: http://beelore.com