Now this is a sight you don’t see these days! A bee swarm!
I came home and drove into my drive to find the air was full of bees. There were thousands of them.
I parked up and went to investigate. There was a swarm of bees. They settled into a bush at the top of my drive.
Now we had been buying local produced honey from a farm at the end of the village. So I rang her up and told her we had a swarm. She came straight down with all her kit.
She had a big basket and scraped the swarm into the basket. She had to make sure that she had got the queen. The queen was releasing a pheromone that was drawing all the workers to her. If she had the queen then all the rest would congregate around her.
She laid out a white sheet and then placed the basket containing most of the swarm (with the queen at the centre) upside down on the sheet. She propped it up so that all the worker bees flying around could get in to the queen.
Then she began collecting up the rest of the swarm and cutting bits of bush and brushing them into the basket.
When she had collected as many as possible she left it for a while for all the lose workers to find their way to the queen (following the scent) and then pulled the sheet up over the basket, bundled it into her car and drove off to put them into an empty hive.
She later popped round with a free jar of honey.
Bees used to be a common sight in my garden. They’ve all gone. I have not seen a single one so far this year – not one! All we have are bumble bees.
The bees, along with most of the other insects (that so many creatures feed on – hedgehogs, shrews, wild birds) have been wiped out by the indiscriminate use of pesticides.