Hi, My Names Chris and i'm a Bee Keeper and Pest Controller in Cheshire. Last year 30th March 2017 I was called to a wasp nest ! This so called wasp nest was in fact Honey Bee scouts entering 3 bay windows in 3 semi detached neighbouring properties. There was a settled swarm nearby that i couldn't locate. I removed and replaced some tiles from the bay window, it was apparent the swarm had not arrived yet. I left the home owners in a bit of a dilema as there was nothing much i could do apart from wait and see what happens. I now know a bait hive would have been the answer, but being ignorant of honey bees and their behaviour it wasn't thought about. The following day 1st April I had dealt with a couple of wasp nests in the morning and was heading over to see if there had been any developments at the Honey bee properties. Half way there i received a phone call. the swarm had arrived and gone into the bay window void of number 29 !! Bingo !! I arrived a short while after the call and with Bee Vac to hand proceeded to removed the bees. I placed them into a paynes poly nuc box that i had borrowed from a friend / commercial local bee keeper. The Nuc was left there until after dark and sealed once all the bees were inside. I sold the swarm to my bee keeper friend and with that money, I bought my 1st hive. I had the bug ! lol It wasn't long before I attended my 1st local association meeting. Being in the profession I am in it seemed obvious to start to advertise my Honey Bee swarm collection services. It wasn't long after that I received my 1st swarm call. Whoopee I then had my 1st very own hive
I had to invest in a Nuc to collect swarms in which was done quickly. I also had to source and buy several hives, these were all second hand of ebay. After the summer of 2017 I ended up with 8 Hives, 6 were Nationals and 2 were WBC'S. On inspection in the spring of 2018 it became apparent i had lost 2 colonies during the winter. These were loses due to the Queens running out of sperm. This was something at that point that was out of my control as they were from swarms. Knowing now what I could have done to prevent this by splitting them. By buying / building more Nucs & buying in more hives, by splitting the colonies i was left with and splitting further swarms and extractions during the summer. I have now grown my hive count to 21. I have also sold a couple of nuc splits after the regional bee inspector showed great interest in my rapid growth and gave me the all clear on the health of my bees after I invited him to inspect them for me.