As evening falls over our humble abode, there is a certain amount of licking and lip-smacking going on, while Andrew nurses a sting or two. You see, we had our first swarm today. The first of our two hives was getting a little crowded, and all of a sudden the postie popped his head in to warn us to watch out for bees swarming around a shrub in next door’s front garden. I’m very glad he did, because now we have a new hive of bees AND a bonus honeycomb harvest.
Having extracted honey just a couple of weeks ago, we expected our girls to take a while to restock their honey supply. But it seems they had other ideas. When Andrew checked the hive to confirm that it was indeed some of our own bees that had taken off, he found the frames full again already! Not only that, but the bees had done one of those dodgy renovations that would never have gained council approval, adding extra rooms everywhere to stash their loot.
Meanwhile, in the garden next door, the swarm had settled very politely into its temporary home and you could have passed by without noticing anything amiss apart from a soft buzzing.
Of course the tranquillity of the scene was no reason for our heroes not to march to the rescue, so off went Andrew and Ben, smoker and nucleus hive in hand, to save the day.
After a little judicious pruning of the shrubbery and some gentle persuasion, Andrew teased the wayward bees into their new hive. There were quite a few of them, as it turned out.
And as they marched in a fairly orderly fashion into their new quarters, we caught up with the neighbours and then conducted an impromptu raid on those dodgy renovations I mentioned. Lordy, I have never tasted such an elixir! There is something about fresh, just-harvested honey that you simply can’t bottle, but this uncapped, really runny, light new honey was something to behold. I guess it’s just a reflection of how much closer it is to its floral origins at this early stage of production.
Well, we’ve been distracted from garden preparations for most of the day and seem to have been licking our fingers (and our wounds, in Andrew’s case) for a few hours now, so if you’d like to share the honeycomb harvest, pop in to our open day on Monday, where there will be sample containers in all shapes and sizes starting from $4.00. Bring a spoon 😉