Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
News and Views
The tree maintenance team in Oxford City Council (OCC) Parks department were recently faced with the need to take down a dangerous old Scots pine in Bury Knowle Park. The tree was severely decayed and was the subject of recent limb failures, rendering it potentially dangerous to members of the public. It was also the home of a feral colony of honey bees. Accordingly OCC contacted the Oxfordshire Bee Keepers Association to ask for our help in re-homing the bees.
 
On 27 July a team assembled consisting of Max Coles, Dan Stevens and Alex Fenton from OCC and Kevin Mewis and Katargyna Benka from OBKA. The tree surgeons cut away the large branch containing the colony and lowered it to the ground.
 
News Jul 29 16 1
 
Once the branch was on the ground they opened up the bees nest with chainsaws and handsaws so that the OBKA team could get at the bees and honeycomb inside.
 
News Jul 29 16 2

 

Max protected by a borrowed bee smock makes the initial opening.

 
At this stage there were quite a few angry bees around, wondering what was happening to their home. Fortunately the parks team had put up a barrier to keep the public at bay with a radius of about 30 yards. Even so those of us who weren't wearing bee suits did get chased a fair way outside that area from time to time. 
 
Kevin and Katargyna got busy transferring the bees from the tree cavity to a hive by cutting out the comb and tying it into frames which could be put in the hive. They also moved bees across paying close attention to try and spot the queen and make sure they got her moved into the new home.
 
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Alex, Kevin and Max studying how to extract the colony, with Katargyna in the background.
 
Eventually most of the comb and brood, a large number of bees, and we believe the queen, had been transferred to the hive ready for relocation to a new home at one of Kevin's apiaries near Banbury. Kevin is hoping that this feral colony may have favourable characteristics which have enabled it to survive despite the presence of varroa mites in the area.
 
When the job was completed, the public's safety had been protected by the removal of an old and dangerous tree, and the colony of bees had been saved to live in a new location.
 
Article by Jonathan Clark