I have been given a swarm from the neighbours – the bees decided to go and live in an old redundant National next to their stables where they just aren’t wanted. We duly took the national 5 miles away and yesterday cut the frames to fit into a TBH (not easy) They were oozing honey but I didn’t see any brood yet. I never manage to spot the Queen so hope she is in there. They started building comb on top bars even before we finished cutting down frames.
After getting the lid back on we waited around to watch and I noticed a small cluster hanging on leaves near by. I thought maybe the Queen wasn’t in the hive after all and getting ready to take off again? So I took the roof off, moved the bars and shook the cluster into the TBH. This happened once more with another small cluster. What was going on? Eventually I left them to it when there were no more clusters, or lumps of bees outside the hive entrance. Hopefully when we go back next week to bring them home all will be in order.
BUT just when I thought the difficult part was over I hear I should turn the TBH UPSIDE DOWN when transporting the 5 miles home again and cross a field in the pick up truck??? I was told to lift the roof off, strap a board to the bars and turn the whole thing upside down so if the combs break the Queen won’t get squashed. I can see the sense in this but goodness I never thought Natural Bee Keeping would be so complicated – You experts out there – I would appreciate your views on this upside down idea too.