On wednesday, 23rd May, I had a call from Harry that a ‘pestaker’ was bringing a swarm from Tetbury about 40 minutes away. I dashed over to Shilton and waited to usher the ‘pestaker into the drive’ He arrived in a BMW and he had shoved the bees into a plastic bag sealed with gappa tape and thrown into the boot, with no ventilation. On opening the boot, some of the bees had escaped and were all over the boot, including trapped into the indicator aperture. He was unable to drive to the apiary, so we were forced to bring the warre hive 200 metres up to his car. Harry then got as many of the bees into the hive as we could and I sorted the spacers, etc. It was such a hot day and it was plain that many of the bees were dead and it was so sad that they had suffered such trauma. He assured us that the Queen was in the body of the swarm that we had transferred into the hive. Harry arranged for some food and drink for the bees and we decided to leave them where they were. There were lots of dead bees at the hive entrance and through the observation window,we could see many dead that had not survive the trama. There has, however been plenty of activity, and when Harry looked into the top of the hive early this morning, Friday, there were plenty of live bees. Melvin and Greg had moved the hive into the apiary last night and this morning, Friday, we noticed that bees were still flying around the site wher the bees had previously been locate, about 200 metres from the apiary.. We put a cardboard box at this location with an entrance hole and they are showing interest in this. Harry is thinking about putting another hive at this position and we would like some advice, because, as you know, these are our first bees. We want to do all that we can to help the bees survive against the odds, they have been so calm and Harry and I have been so at one with them that we feel no need to wear our suits when closely observing them. They really do seem to know that we want to help them and certainly mean them no harm. The bees look like a cross between the black bee and the southern european bee, or at least the do to us novices!
Any advice and comments most welcome.