That’s the title of another book I’ve just been sent for review by Princeton University Press. It’s by Tom Seeley and it is about the craft and science of bee hunting. I remember reading a book about this decades ago, probably Donovan’s Hunting Wild Bees and intended to put it into practice but never got around to it.
I must set aside some time to read Tom’s book and report on it. I know it will be good as his always are!
Today is busy. I got called to Greenwood Grange to a swarm by their gate. It was a tiny cast, maybe as big as a pair of clenched fists (I don’t know what that is in metric!). With an audience, I hopped on the adjacent wall and shook the cluster into a skep, which I then wrapped in an Ikea bag and set it on the wall with a gap for an entrance Soon bees were fanning at the entrance, exposing their Nasenov glands, suggesting that there was a queen within.
While waiting for the stragglers to join the crowd, I wandered over to the apiary site near the pond where I have three baited hives set up. The first one was busy with bees! I zipped up my veil and gently opened them. Some bees had pollen on their legs, but there was no brood. I looked at each frame and saw the queen on one. She wasn’t very big and may be a virgin. I wonder whether the little cast was the stragglers from where the larger swarm had been clustered earlier, but then, they wouldn’t have been fanning as described.
I fetched the skep and shook the bees into the empty hive next door. If they are stragglers from the main bunch it won’t be difficult for them to re-unite.