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Dear interested friend of bees,

As many of you know, I have been using a group of volunteers for a number of years to monitor various sites in which feral colonies of honey-bees are continuing to live despite the spread of Varroa throughout most of Scotland.

Sadly one of these sites has now been lost. The tree in which the bees were living near the River Nairn had become unstable, and it was judged to be a public danger and felled. Those who had been monitoring the site were quickly alerted to the situation, and within a few hours of the tree coming down, they went there to rescue the bees.

A year or two ago, I was sent a small sample of bees from this colony to do some wing morphometry on, and from the characteristics of the venation pattern on their wings, it appears likely that they are largely of the Carniolan race. These have a reputation for mild temper, and the behaviour of the bees while they were being rescued would certainly confirm that for this stock.

Those carrying out the rescue have made a most interesting video of their proceedings, and I hope you will enjoy watching it.

Ann Chilcott, who was the leader of the rescue team, has said that she would like this to be widely circulated among interested beekeepers, so feel free to share it with you beekeeping friends. It has many useful lessons for others who may be faced at some time with a similar problem.

Magnus Peterson

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