Rescue WILD BEE COLONY Nairn April 2016
Dear interested friend of bees,
As many of you know, I have been using a group of volunteers for a number
of years to monitor various sites in which feral colonies of honey-bees are
continuing to live despite the spread of Varroa throughout most of Scotland.
Sadly, one of these sites has now been lost. The tree in which the bees were
living near the River Nairn had become unstable, and it was judged to be a
public danger and felled. Those who had been monitoring the site were
quickly alerted to the situation, and within a few hours of the tree
they went there to rescue the bees.
A year or two ago, I was sent a small sample of bees from this colony to
do some wing morphometry on, and from the characteristics of the
venation pattern on their wings, it appears likely that they are largely
of the Carniolan race. These have a reputation for mild temper, and
the behaviour of the bees while they were being rescued would
certainly confirm that for this stock.
Those carrying out the rescue have made a most interesting video
of their proceedings, and I hope you will enjoy watching it on
Youtube via the link
Ann Chilcott, who was the leader of the rescue team,
has said that she would like this to be widely circulated among interested
beekeepers, so feel free to share it with you beekeeping friends. It
has many useful lessons for others who may be faced at some time
with a similar problem.