Just a record of events.
Andy Nicol called me last Sunday to say that there was a swarm at his allotments, on a friends. So I went to see, and indeed there was.
See? Not the words largest, but conveniently close to the ground. And in a raspberry patch, more crowded than this makes it appear. So I got out my nice wooden box and pulled then in.
That was the bees on several canes, plus a couple of handfuls scooped off the ground. We left the rest to walk in while Andy showed me around, all on a lovely sunny afternoon. I put them in the back of the car -only a few escaped - and offered them to Nikola. We went to look at her hives - she was somewhat unsure about one - but it definitely had bees on it so I kept them for myself.
Here they are on top of the "original" (slope-top) hive, and I'm using the old "sheet of newspaper" trick. This hive has, I think, swarmed a bit too much this year, because despite coming through the winter much better than the "other" (flat-top) hive, its now looking rather sparse. So this may be a useful top-up.
On Monday night I realised I'd forgotten there was a queen excluder in. And so my two queens had no means to meet, maybe. Anyway, I took it out.
Here's the general hive environs, looking down the garden towards the stream.