Laws & Robbers

Two Laws (Ancient Erse)


reward shall be given
to any man

who succeeds in following
an absconding swarm


punishment shall be given
to any man

regarding the evil done
by his swarm

The Law (UK Statute)

bee escapees
belong to a keeper
by right

so long as he keeps
his swarm in sight

here arises
the tradition
   of ‘tanging’

following a swarm
banging on a metal tray
   or pan

Remnant: Two Cures for Robbing

(I) Flour the robbers

(flouring aids identification
and occupies the robbers
with the task of cleaning
   their bodies)

(II) Stick a knife in their hive

(this keeps them busy
repairing the outpouring
   of honey)

H. Malcolm Fraser, History of Beekeeping in Britain
I. H. Jackson, Bee-keeping for Beginners