Progress with acquiring an assaime sauvage last year was slow – but interesting! Three sightings of wild swarms. One visual, one audible.. (like a fly past of lancaster bombers) and one resident in an old oak tree just a kilometre or so from home.
Visiting our neighbours, we found that they have a resident swarm that the local pompiers treated a few years ago. Unfortunately for them, the swarm returned and re-established a fresh colony. So… it’s got to be worth a go.
A fortnight ago we installed the hive.. a few metres below the entry to the problem swarm and on their inbound flightpath. I was rather hoping that the allure of fresh wax foundation would be like crisp cotton sheets at the Hilton. Not so. Not even a whiff.
So… Along to our local bee-store for a chat and a bit of a discussion about bee capture. Our optimism took a bit of a hit when our prospects where pronounced as slim. Still.. we picked up a little tube of ‘Le parfum d’Ariste’, a bee attractant that you are supposed to smear all over the inside of a hive and the charming Monsieur Matisse went out the back and gave us a ‘loaner’ frame – full of established comb and dripping with honey.
Food and lodgings laid on all we have to do now is wait. If that doesn’t entice them into new lodgings then I don’t know what will. We have established a fall-back position though. As much as we’d like to capture our own swarm… our bee man may yet come to the rescue. He’s the long established man who can in the area and this time of year – as hives grow and start to chuck the odd swarm – he gets the call and off he goes to collect whatever is around and about. We went round to see his ‘nursery’ and he has five nucleus colonies under development so I suspect that this time next week we’ll be round there with our empty hive and one of them will get transferred in.
Watch this space