No paragliding but Bees Swarm in
Strong SW and some big Congestus today. On arrival home I noticed a lot of bees around a hole in the soffit above the front door. I should have acted straight away, as they were just explorer bees, and the main swarm had yet to arrive. (I could have set up an alternative bait hive next to the hole in the soffit). In the time I went to the kitchen to prepare a coffee the main swarm arrived which I could hear from within the house. Going outside I could see the swarm hovering over the roof and begginging to enter their new home. The more who find the route the easier it is for the rest to find their way in. They send out a scent via their Nasanov glands, fanning the pheremone with their wings to give a chemical marker to show the new way home. Soon here was a stream of bees walking along the wall into their new front door in the Fascia above the soffit. (I sort of remember Brian Hindle and I putting that bit of the roof up a year or so back and having to bodge that corner leaving this small hole). I put the ladder up to watch closely to see if I could see the queen going in. Even at this late stage, by plucking the queen out of the line of bees walking in I could still have got them into another hive. Within 10 minutes all of the thousands of bees were neatly installed and will now be clustered and building comb.
Curiously I had time yesterday to check the hives (they are only about 50 m away) and noticed that some of the swarms from May had perished. I was rather hoping for another strong swarm, but it is a shame that they decided not to go to one of the empty hives. Anyway, it was a great spectacle which I rarely get to see. Normally they pick good flying days when I am on the hill or flying. The bees do not normally swarm if there is a risk of thunderstorms. It seems that they were better informed since although we have a lot of wind and some big build ups it now seems we are unlikely to get full Cbs. It bees seem to have interpreted the temperature trace better than me today.