We recently spotted something a little odd on the terrace by Escot House. On closer inspection it turned out to be a huge group of bees, seemingly fixed to the stone wall!
So we had a chat with Malcolm Crook, who keeps 14 beehives on the Estate, 2 in Escot’s gardens, 2 in neighbouring Wildwood and 10 not far from the site of the Beautiful Days venue Bimble Inn!
Malcolm tells us these are ‘feral’ honey bees looking for a new home. It’s a natural way of reproducing, as the old queen and half a colony’s worth of bees take off from their existing home, leaving the older bees with 5 to 15 potential queens.
The swarm takes four of five days supply of honey with them. While the honey lasts, they have to find a new home. So they land in a group while scout bees try to find a suitable location.
The good news is that they are docile, as they have full stomachs so are better natures, with no reason to be defensive and sting.
Malcolm says that they are unlikely to be his, as he checked his hives recently. There are signs to look out for that they’re getting ready to fly and a beekeeper will prepare and manage the situation by putting the queen and younger bees in a new hive, so they don’t have to swarm to find another home.
Malcolm says it’s brilliant that there’s a swarm as it means there will be more honeybees to come.
Let’s hope they’ve managed to find a suitable home!