The BeeHolder, January 2011
Once upon a time, one fine sunny morning in late May, I was enjoying myself in my garden wondering if it was time to go down to go down to the pub when I heard the sound we all dread; no not the Mother in law coming to stay, worse, a swarm leaving my only hive, and it was on a double brood.
It was enormous. The sky so black with bees I couldn’t afford to lose them.
I was in luck both good and bad. They settled close by in a tree. Good. 25 ft up right on the thinnest branches BAD. There’s no way a ladder could reach and nothing to lean it on. So bait an empty hive, cup of tea and think.
Indian rope trick? No. (I was born north of Islamabad but never learned it)
English rope trick ? This involves throwing a weighted rope over a branch and giving a sharp tug. Usually resulting in a cut head or an overcoat of angry bees. Or both. Forget it.
The Tony Bosworth method. Lay a large sheet under said swarm. Fetch .410 shotgun, aim at branch or swarm or close ones eyes and pull trigger.
Today I am in luck. Move swarm in sheet to hive where 10,000 pairs of innocent eyes look up, say what did we do??? Point gun at swarm. Point finger at hive and, in a mad scramble like honey flowing uphill in they jolly well went.
Later the Queen went to the ball, had loads of babies and they all lived happily ever after.
This is a true story. I promise you. Although it did happen when I had long hair wore Cuban heels and flared trousers.
Warning! Don’t do this unless you can’t see your neighbour’s house.