Smoking out bees

More or fewer bees

One very hot June day, just as Richard and the girls were leaving for Kent, a huge humming filled the air and a swarm of bees appeared (not ours!), diving into a ventilator in the eaves. With Rue up a ladder outside with a smoker, Richard struggled unsuccessfully in the loft to tempt them into a makeshift hive, getting baked in full bee gear under the sweltering roof. Cavity walls not being the ideal home for a bee colony, we eventually resorted to stripping tiles off the roof until they came out again and swarmed in a bush. Richard dashed off to Kent, leaving Rue to get them into a hive. Success! Next day Richard bought a proper hive for them, but just as it was ready the whole lot disappeared. Despite our best endeavours our original two hives have been badly affected by poor weather and nasty afflictions (including the dreaded Varroa mite) and we got hardly any honey this year.

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