I was slashing on a hot spring day on the ‘other side’ and swung past the bees as I often do to clear the long grass around their hive entrances. Never before have I been stung but yesterday I felt them land on me and I swiped them away. One protested with a dying deed into the crown of my head and it really hurt! As I swung past again on my next round they landed on me again but this time I was smart enough to do nothing, still smarting from the last bee’s dying wish.
Today I almost ran into a swarm building on a long low branch of a big she oak along the river flat by the teepees. Missed it by an inch or so thank goodness! No wonder they were all so cranky and aggressive yesterday.
I rang Ged who is the bee expert (he loves those bees!) and he got very excited and said he would capture the swarm and put it in the last remaining empty box when he got home from Sydney. Sure enough when the sun was warm we all drove over to watch the bee whisperer at work. The swarm had completely changed shape in the intervening 12 hours and was now hanging like a flag down from the bough. Ged put on his white jacket with hood and veil and tucked his jeans into his pants (they do like to climb up trouser legs) and gave the bough one good shake into the box and most of the swarm had a new home. A few more shakes and some gentle sweeping with the bee broom and we had captured our first swarm. It was amazing . . . my husband the apiarist and more lovely runny honey for Avalon. Yay!