|Three swarm calls came in this year from distressed householders who had honeybees entering their properties through extractor fan outlets, a chimney or holes around outlet pipes. The only recourse is to smoke them out, but sometimes access is not possible or they are very reluctant to leave, meaning that expensive professionals have to be called in.
Another issue is swarms being attracted to existing hives. This has happened twice to us. We know they are not our bees, who are still cosily tucked up with their marked queens, but, of course, no-one is going to believe that. It is therefore beholden on us as beekeepers to remove the swarm and maintain good relations with neighbours and allotment holders. Winter losses were high last year and there is a list of members willing to take a swarm. Just place a note on the admin
In recent years attitudes have changed dramatically and the general public are supportive and interested in the ‘plight of the bees’. However, recent articles in the press state there are too many beekeepers and it is the bumble bees and insect pollinators generally which need care and attention. We do not want to lose the goodwill towards those keeping bees in an urban area.
In an urban area it is imperative that we as beekeepers maintain good relations with our local neighbourhood by being vigilant during the swarming season. It is in our own interest that we do not lose our bees so please be helpful to neighbours by removing swarms and passing them on to other beekeepers.
From Avis & David Marshall