This afternoon I got a call to collect a swarm. I didn't know if I would be able to get to it from the description of where it was but because it was close I said that I would go and have a look at it and see if I could something about it at another time.
Well the story unfolded.
In the vacant lot beside the house was this enormous tree that loppers came in to cut down. It has had a colony in it for the past 6 years, so what did the loppers do, they cut the tree down, destroyed the colony, bagged the comb into 6-7 shopping bags and tried to burn the rest. The lady of the house tore strips off them and called the city council. In the meanwhile the loppers and comb disappeared and the bees that were left alive absconded and found a temporary in the lady's yard about 12 feet off the ground on a branch.
Of course when I said I would have a look at it I did not expect to be able to get to it so all I took was my veil. So I had to scrounge a box, a saw and some tape. I was able to cut the branch at its base until it gently swung down to where I could grab it and then cut the rest of it off.
I was able to put the cut down branch into a beer box and we sat around chatting until the rest of the girls had found the box. So it seems that I have a small colony, queen included although I have yet to see her. I am inclined to attempt to save the colony rather than combine it with another as it is apparent that this queen has been quite vigorous in her laying to be able to build a colony such as it must have been. I am going to give it some brood from the other colonies that I have in the morning and set it up in a nuc. Hopefully I will be able to rebuild what must have once been a fine colony.
Tree loppers... ggrrrrrrr!