We are amateur, urban beekeepers and are learning as we go along. In fact, you never stop learning about bees. We belong to the North London Beekeepers Association and the London Beekeeping Association and regularly attend meetings, so that we can learn more about bees and how best to look after them.
In an urban environment, it is important to minimise swarms, to keep the neighbourhood peace. We have had a couple of swarms; on both occasions the bees have congregated on the highest branch of the pear tree in our neighbour’s garden (see photo below) while the scouts go out searching for a new location for the queen and her followers. On both occasions we have managed to recapture the swarm and reintroduce them back into the apiary into a new hive, without harm – although one year we did not put brood frames into the hive quickly enough and the bees made their own beautiful wild comb – see the photo below.
Even our two cats, Poppy and Ruby, keep an eye on the busy bees!