Thursday, 21 April 2011

Not quite the greeting we had in mind for our guests

Posted by Rosie

About an hour after guests arrived for an Easter break in the gite there was a shout from outside.  "There's a swarm of wasps!"

Bee swarm on a fence post
"In April," I thought, "surely not?"  I was right - there wasn't a swarm of wasps there was a swarm of BEES enveloping a huge area in front of the barn and play area.  Children and dogs were hurriedly sent to the safety of indoors before Chris and I (from a very safe distance) watched to see what they'd do.  They seemed to be homing in on the old cherry tree but eventually swarmed down onto a fence post below it, in a large rugby ball-sized mass.  Apparently the swarm would be out looking for a new place to nest but if the queen gets tired before then she will look what somewhere to rest, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for a couple of days.  I have also since learnt that swarming bees rarely sting as they feed well before swarming and find it difficult to sting.  I didn't know this when I went to take this photo so you'll understand why I didn't hang around too long to get it fully in focus.

I have contacted a bee keeper to see if he'll try and take them to his hives but he may be too far away.  Otherwise I will just let them do their thing and head off to find a suitable nest site.  Bee keeping is something Simon and I would like to do but following a forum where the subject is discussed (Downsizer) I know I have a lot to learn before getting  hives and bees.  Let's hope another swarm settles here when we are ready.

3 comments :

  1. Fascinating stuff, I've learnt something there. This is also something we would like to do once we have our next place.

    Happy Easter to you and yours.

    Sue xx

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  2. Happy Easter to you too - the boys are FINALLY on holiday and can now fully appreciate the hot weather.

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  3. A rude shock, but I'm sure the experience has stood you in good stead!

    Happy Easter All!

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