Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer of Bees

When we first checked this situation out, the bees were just exploring.. visiting in small groups and taking the building's measure.  A week later we got the call that, "the queen is here!"  In fact, two separate queens moved in.
1. Drilling a hole through the plywood on the inside, Joey located the hives using a boroscope

2. Cutting the white plywood a prying open

3. Half the hive attached to the plywood

4. The other half of the hive in the bay
 We smoked them lightly to assure calmness, but they still behaved like a swarm when they were exposed: calm, disinterested, and nicely clumped together.
     I scooped bees and cut the fresh comb so Joey could fit it into empty frames, temporarily holding them in place with rubber bands (in a few days, once the bees have attached the comb to the wood, they will dispose of the rubber bands)
5. Exposing the second hive

6. Hive #2 revealed and new box in place

7. Slightly smaller second hive

Following the same procedure as the first hive, I cut and scooped while Joey prepared the comb for the new hive.  We verified we had two queens since each section had fresh eggs in it.  This queen kept trying to run away and we had to corral her using smoke and cloth soaked with the nontoxic but dissuading, Bee-Gone.

8. Finally, she is in the box, indicated by the bees fanning their "Come hither" pheromone at the entrance
  Once we got the majority of the bees inside our boxes, we'll leave them for a day or so to reattach their comb and adjust themselves to our boxes.  Then we'll return before sunrise, wrap them in a sheet burrito, and take them home.
9. Two hives, One wall, One happy Liz

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