The split up donor hive has settled down to a more normal routine, but the queen-right hive placed in front of the donor is lacking in foragers I fear. On the 17th May I discovered that a European hornet had entered via a back door hole inadvertently left open. It had begun nest building from a top bar in the void behind a follower board. I removed the bars adjacent to hers and doused her with a cap-full of metholated spirit, normally used to light the smoker. She fell to the floor but quickly revived,to fly off at speed only to return five minutes later. Meanwhile I had stopped the entrance hole and she gave up after a few minutes.
Back in the village, our churchyard has plenty of trees in blossom and three colonies in the church stonework; all quite active, except for one on the north wall.
I had deployed my bait hive 18 feet up into a tree a couple of days earlier, and yesterday the 19th, was delighted to see bees entering during a lovely warm afternoon. A swarm appeared later and hung about for a few minutes, and gradually made for the north face wall. It moved into a void some twenty feet above ground level. Next day only one or two bees are entering the bait hive – probably scouts. Our Vicar is quite happy for me to work in this way, since the bees have occasionally put fear into the hearts of wedding parties entering the church.
European hornet beginning her nest in my hive