A few of you were concerned to notice that our hive residents seemed to be on the move recently! Don't worry this is perfectly normal bee activity at this time of year!We are pleased to report that our Bees are still very happily ensconced in our hive and are super busy bustling back and forth with heavy legs covered in pollen!
We have experienced two swarms this Spring. An indication of a very healthy happy hive! The overwintered Queen who has been protected from the cold by her faithful worker bees will lay queen eggs in the Spring. These juvenile queens hatch out and very politely the original Queen will move out, taking a proportion of the workers and a supply of honey to set up a new hive nearby. If conditions are really good and the hive has lots of food and workers more than one new queen may hatch out. Only one queen can occupy a hive so extras move on.
We've had two swarms this spring - the original queen (on the outside of the hive) and then shortly after a juvenile (in the hedge). Both swarms were safely collected by our Bee man, Brett, and have been successfully relocated into their own new hives ready to make honey! This is a very normal natural thing for bees to do at this time of year. Now they have finished their division our new daughter queen and her workers are back on the important job of making honey!
If you see a swarm at this time of year DON'T PANIC! They are not interested in you! The worker bees will be heavily laden with food for their new hive and are not aggressive. The mound of bees that you can see are the workers swarming around the queen in the centre to protect her and keep her warm whilst they look for their new home.
Leave the bees well alone and they will not bother you! If they have decided to settle somewhere inconvenient - like your house! - then your first port of call is the British Bee Keepers Association they have a great section on identifying if your swam consists of honey bees (yes bumble bees can swarm too!). If you do have a honey bee swarm then go to their Swarm Advice Section and there is a really helpful postcode and local collectors list to help you.