Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bee Wrangling

 Last week Devin and I went a friend's house and removed a bee hive that was living in the side of her house. We were happy to get a chance to try out a new bee vacuum Devin built. When we arrived bees were flying out the exterior corner here. Her husband sprayed expansion foam all around hoping it would keep the bees inside the wall and then they would die. Bees are clever and just chewed a hole through the foam.

 After a bit we figured out where the hive body was and Devin used his saw to cut a square out through that part of the house. BINGO! The hive was above the basement ceiling (finished basement) and below the floor joists to the main floor.

 It was not a HUGE hive, but they had several combs drawn down. These combs you see are actually attached up higher, so it was difficult to remove them in whole pieces.  the comb was full of brood, eggs and honey.

 Since my hand was smallest, I pulled the comb out and also tried to vacuum up as many bees as possible.
 The bee vacuum was attached to a  bucket. When we were done, we took the vacuum part off top and placed a screened lid on the bucket.

 We collected a box full of comb. Sadly, we were not able to find a queen. I am sure she was smooshed in the process. I threw this comb out in my apiary and let all the bees rob it of honey.

  I tried to get all the comb out. there were still field bees flying in, but the homeowner was going to spray them down with water that evening. The bees were actually very docile considering we were ripping their home apart.

They had some repairs left but at least the bees were gone and we got to a new hive. I put the bees in a 5 frame nuc and gave them a frame of eggs from another hive in the apiary.
I will check on them in one month and see if they have a new queen.

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