I recently came home from work to discover the above sight on a prominent branch of a tree in my back garden. It was the hubster’s day off so he had already contacted the local council who told him there was nothing they could do as bees are a protected species. He then called the British Beekeeping Association who put him in touch with a couple of local members who were happy to come round and attempt to move the swarm on for us.
Two lovely ladies shortly appeared fully kitted out in protective gear and wielding what appeared to be a wicker basket and a cooler box. JJ (who is in the middle of the “why?” phase as it is) was extremely curious about the whole thing and we set up camp at the kitchen window to observe the goings on from a safe spot.
The beekeepers attempted to push the swarm down into a suitably appealing box and for a while it seemed to be working. They later told me that the bees (of which there were approximately 60,000!!) would do whatever the queen did and it became apparent that she wasn’t hanging around when the bees all began swarming out of the box and the garden began to resemble a black hail storm. Not for long though, soon we discovered that they had made a new home two gardens down!
In all the excitement I used the experience to talk to JJ a little bit about bees and the fact that they make honey. I let him taste a little bit of the Romanian Lime Blossom Honey we had in the cupboard – delish! He has asked for honey on toast for breakfast ever since.
Last time I was shopping I had a long look at the honeys available in the local Sainsburys and take note of the fact that honey is almost akin to wine with everything from bog standard Gales squeezy to New Zealand Manuka honey ’15+’ with proven antibacerial properties for £21.95!
I also caught a bit of the Horizon special on bees last week with famous beekeeper (and Breakfast presenter) Bill Turnbull bringing the plight of bees, which are still seriously in decline, to the attention of the nation. Did you know that bees pollinate a third of everything we eat? Without them our diets would be a lot less varied.
As an epilogue to the story, one of the Bee ladies turned out to be quite talented in the art of crochet and, taken with my gorgeous boys, returned two days later with the two little offerings below.
This post is linked to Charly at Podcast’s What’s the Story??