Good News – Everyone on my list of members wanting swarms has now received one. If there is any member who thinks they asked for one but has not received one please let me know. Meanwhile several members have asked for a second swarm and I have now started to supply them.

The ‘Hoover’ has been put to good use and has been requested and used by three members now. Unfortunately by the time we arrived for the second, the swarm was just flying off but I was able to demonstrate the Hoover’s use. However, we did receive a donation to the Club house fund for our troubles, which brings the donations from swarms to just over £600 this year.

The photo on the left shows me collecting a swarm about 30 feet off the ground. It does help to have a second person to use the second pole to push obstructing branches aside (see picture on right).

There are one or two modifications that I want to make to the Hoover to make it easier to use.

I had an interesting incident after collecting a swarm from a pine tree in Burwood Park. The next swarm was spread over a gravel drive but I could not get the bees up so gave up on the Hoover and reverted to the traditional skep (see right). On the next occasion a member wanted the Hoover for a high swarm. After using it the swarm was removed from the tree but no bees were in the box. Shaking the tubes revealed them all within. At that point we suspected a blockage so used a second smaller tube to push through to find what was causing it. Out popped a small pine cone, perfectly shaped to wedge in the tube, and suddenly all was working again.

Michael Main

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