News -

Downton Honey

downton honey

Over the last couple of years I have reduced the number of beehives I keep and generally only have enough honey for my own family's use, and to give away to friends and family. On a good year you may find some of my excess honey for sale at The Borough Cafe in Downton.

Welcome to Downton Bees

I have recently scaled back my beekeeping activities - I'm just too busy doing other stuff - and so this website is not regularly updated. The information here is kept available for those who might be interested.

Swarms

The typical swarming season is May-June. If you see a swarm of honey bees clustering in a similar way to the picture below, then please get in contact with the Salisbury area swarm co-ordinator. Contact details are available via the Salisbury and District Beekeepers Association website here - sdbka.org.

CLICK HERE to see more swarm pictures.

Please do not contact me about bumble bees. I will not remove these under any circumstances.

swarm of bees

Although swarms are not usually dangerous, they should not be approached. Two of the swarms I collected in 2012 were very aggressive.

There is usually no fee for swarm removal, but some beekeepers will ask you to cover the cost of travel. Some swarms are difficult or impossible to remove, such as those that have entered eaves or chimneys, and few beekeepers are willing to attempt removing them.

Unfortunately I am not able to collect swarms myself this year, other than for friends or nearby neighbours.

Best wishes

Graham Lloyd-Jones (Beekeeper)

 

Collecting a swarm of bees

Here is a short video to show how beekeepers can collect swarms of honey bees - but don't try this at home!

How to collect a swarm of honey bees

Place a box under the swarm.

Shake the cluster into the box.

Turn the box upside down on a large sheet, and prop up on one side to create an opening.

If the queen is in the box they will all find her using their 'fanning' behaviour.

Wrap up the box with the sheet and take to a hive containing frames with wax foundation.

Shake the bees onto a ramp in front of the hive.

Occasionally you'll see the queen in the crowd as they march upwards.

Treat with icing sugar to reduce varroa.

Place a narrow entrance block.

Sit back and have a beer!

Foraging photos

Here is a Downton honey bee foraging on creeping thyme. To see more close-up photos of honey bees foraging go to the Bee Photos page.

swarm of bees

If you have taken any good pictures of honey bees please email them to me so I can post them on the website.

Best wishes

Graham Lloyd-Jones (Beekeeper)