Gauteng Smallholder December/ January 2018 - Page 33

From page 29 the capture premises, but in one of his chosen sites, of smoking the bees out and catching them and the queen usually in a bluegum or similar plantation, some in a suitable container for rehousing is only a small part distance from habitation. of the overall operation of Next, the remover needs to rehoming a swarm. have ready the major expense of rehoming a Once the swarm has been swarm, namely an empty, caught, there is also the fully-equipped hive. matter of removing as much of whatever comb and honey At its most basic it will the bees may have already comprise a brood box with accumulated. This is both to ten brood frames, each frame give the swarm something to fitted with a wax foundation get started with in its new strip. Atop the box goes an home and also to remove the inner lid, over which is fitted tempting smell of fresh honey an aluminium-covered and wax from the site, which telescopic lid to form a good will simply act to attract seal around the top of the another itinerant swarm brood chamber. looking for a new home. Depending on the size of the When the remover leaves the captured swarm the remover capture, often late in the may also add a super, fitted evening (night-time being a with ten shallow frames, each better time to work with bees in turn fitted with a founda- as they are calmer, and tion sheet. And, depending usually all “at home” rather on his style of beekeeping, he than out foraging) the will place a queen excluder remover must drive them to between the brood chamber his chosen rehoming site. and the super. Certainly, as This is likely not to be close to the swarm settles into its new BEEKEEPING home and begins to grow he will want to add one, or maybe more supers. And this is where the major expense comes in. A fully- kitted out hive comprising a brood box and super, with all its frames fitted with founda- tion sheet, and a queen excluder added, costs upwards of R600 new, and one is required for each swarm caught. Of course, a bee remover who has a number of hives will doubt- less have a few spare for the purpose, which contained swarms that have died off or absconded, or hives that have recently been refurbished and refitted but the point remains that there is considerable expense ~ and work ~ involved in removing and rehousing bees. Other expenses involved including the acquisition and upkeep of the beekeeper's protective gear, smoker etc, and that of any assistant he may employ, as well as 31 payment of insurance premiums to cover his operation for damage and third party claims incurred in the removal process. If you would like to know more about beekeeping in Gauteng and surrounds there are three associations which welcome new members, and which hold regular meetings and beekeeping courses, namely the Eastern Highveld Beekeepers Association, Southerns Beekeepers Association and Northerns Beekeepers Association.