Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

May 2011

This months News



Shiptston Bee-Keepers

I am pleased to relate that Shipston Bee-keepers’ recent Introduction to Bee-keeping day was a great success and fully subscribed by 26 attendees.  As a consequence we have some twelve persons looking to start keeping bees this season and hoping to catch a swarm of honey bees to populate their brand new hives.

You may know that a colony of honey bees naturally divides in two most years to perpetuate the species – the ‘old’ queen leaves the nest with half of the flying bees as a swarm to set up home elsewhere leaving behind a, ‘ready to emerge’ from its cell, ‘new’ queen to head the colony.  Unfortunately the life expectancy of feral colonies is now materially affected by the parasitic varroa mite.  There are far fewer bees in the wild and it is only with the help of bee-keepers that colonies of managed honey bees are able to survive.

I should like to enlist the help of readers in advising me of accessible swarms that I and prospective bee-keepers could collect and re-house.  To this end I provide the following:

Wanted for new bee-keepers – accessible swarms of honey bees.  Not round, furry bumble bees that nest in masonry or in the ground, nor the distinctive black and yellow wasp in its papier maché nest in a roof space – but rather the tennis ball (or even rugby ball!) size cluster of almost hairless honey bees on a post or hanging from the branch of a tree.  Such a cluster of bees is midway from its nest and its, as yet undetermined, new home – it is docile unless disturbed and unlikely to stay put for more than a couple of hours.  Please contact Douglas Nethercleft of Shipston Bee-keepers on 07850 352905 to advise the swarm’s location and to arrange for its collection if practicable.

Douglas Nethercleft

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Last modified: May 14, 2011