05 August 2008

Beelieve It Or Not...

A good-sized swarm of bees has just a few minutes ago moved into one of our bee-boxes.

They totally ignored the freshly-prepared and lovingly-tended catch boxes we've had out since our last, unsuccessful attempt to catch a swarm, and moved into the tatty, unprepared full-sized brood-box! In the space of just 5 or 10 minutes, they moved in and are contentedly getting the furniture arranged. The only trouble is that the box in question is a bit too close to the house and the veggie-garden gate for comfort. Bear in mind that these are not your meek and mild European Bees, but a race of the dread and fearsome African Honey Bee -- Apis mellifera capensis -- and not to be messed with lightly. We'll give them a few days to get settled, and then see to moving the hive somewhere a bit more convenient to ourselves. The bad thing is that the hive is totally vulnerable to any Honey Badgers that might wander by -- we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed for a few days until we can get them settled somewhere safer.

Hooray! Finally, after years of trying to catch a swarm...

(In the picture you can probably not make out the Bees themselves moving into the white, full-sized box. Atop the hive is one of the catch boxes, freshly prepared, and not yet placed in a strategic location.)

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