A swarm of bees in .... April?

23 Apr 2017
By Rosemary Winson
On 22 April, several people stopped to see why local resident Henry Gray was paying unusual attention to a section of hawthorn hedge on Stratford Road.

Henry explained that he was "keeping an eye" on a swarm of honeybees that had settled there and had put a box on the top of the hedge for them to settle in, should they decide to stay. He wasn't sure if they were 'his' bees returning to their previous hives for a new season, or if they had come from elsewhere.

Apparently when seeking a new territory, swarms of bees generally move either a distance of about 3 feet or about 3 miles,  not usually somewhere in-between. 

An estimate of the number of bees in this particular swarm was given as 10,000 and the kind offer to take my camera from me for this close-up shot was gratefully accepted.   

 A swarm of bees in April is very unusual according to beekeeper Henry and he suggested that the large number of fields of oil seed rape growing in this area at the moment may explain the bees early appearance.  

There isn't even an entry for such an early happening in the proverbial beekeepers' rhyme: