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Honey Bees  
Glastonbury - Fast FREE Swarm removal
 

In addition to helping with IT, we also keep Bees!

If you are in Glastonbury (or nearby) and have a honey bee swarm, we will collect and either give it a home or find a new home it for you.

To get help ring 03333 445950 anytime, choose option 3 and leave a message, we will call you back as soon as we can.

The key information we would like are.

  • Your Name
  • Telephone Number
  • Address
  • Post Code
  • Description of the swarm 
    • Size
    • Location
    • Height from the ground
    • How long it has been present

Keep calm, swarms may be noisy and seem scary but they are generally docile and not aggressive, as along as you do not upset them you will be fine.

Do not swat bees (or wasps), this really upsets them and rather than making them move away they will defend themselves and that will be painful for you.

If a bee lands on you and you do nothing, it will workout what you are, see you are of no interest after a bit and go away.  If you upset it and it defends itself (stings you) then other bees will smell it and they will come to aide in the defense.  Avoid upsetting bees and they will avoid upsetting you.

 

Want to know more about how we keep bees differently to others scroll down?

Rather than the rather the standard national hives, we use top bar hives, these allow the bees to make comb of whatever size they like and behave in a much more natural way.

We only take what the bees can spare, bees should only be fed sugar* in real emergencies.  Sugar is not a way to make up for having taken more than the bees can spare.

  • We don't take any precautions to avoid swarms.  
    • Swarms are a natural way for bees to reproduce, it is a hygienic behavior, the hive splits in two but before it does, they queen lays large amounts of brood and drone brood in particular.  Mites (a major contributor to bee decline) are attracted to the young brood and leave the adults, so the swarm is relatively free of mites.
  • We see our role as stewards, we inspect the bees for any signs of illness 
    • AFB is the worst, this requires notification and destruction of the hive and bees
    • EFB is really bad, it requires notification and depending on other factors, treatment or destruction
    • There are some nasty exotic parasites in hives which again require notification.
    • There are a number of less exotic and very common parasites which weaken the colony and can be treated, the most common are the Varroa mite and the Wax Moth. Bees can survive these pests but varroa are now so endemic that we only treat when infestation levels become high. 
    • Outside the hive we are now on the lookout for Asian Hornets (a kind of really big wasp), these are an invasive alien species that eat honey bees, If you see one they need to be reported.  Traps can also be used to help spot them. (Identification Guide)
    • Outside the hive we look for signs of issues, diarrhea, dead bees being thrown form the hive.
    • Because we handle bees less and take more time, the bees tolerate us better so we tolerate some more aggressive behaviors that others would not.  Diversity in bee populations has diminished with an almost monoculture of "Italian/Buckfast" bee stocks we need more diversity, diversity brings with it resilience at the expense of production and ease of handling.
  • Because we are not trying to prevent swarming, we do not open the hive as often as traditional beekeepers, the stores of honey in the hive do not contain any brood so are not always inspected.
  • We are very lucky in this country as we have regional bee inspectors who we can call on if we find anything that is not quite right or if we have any worries. They are always helpful and have access to resources and have experience that small keepers just can't match.  We have never seen any AFB EFB or hive beetles, only pictures/videos. 

 


*Fondant is used by a lot of beekeepers and it is technically more than just sugar, but it is still an inferior substitute for the natural food of bees (honey)

  


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