Saturday, March 12, 2011

Swarming A Hive

Danny with some of the booty from a large hive collected at Pierce College.  10 or so Backwards Beekeepers made the 6:30AM arrival to gather up these bees.  The bees had been touchy when approached earlier in the wee but were not bad today.  With a bit of smoke and sugar water they were relatively calm and only one sting was reported.  (I had to make a couple extra trips back to my truck for Bee Vac parts and neglected  to have my hat on and one girl spotted a target of opportunity.)
Tom putting brood into frames with Gwen capturing it for posterity.  Ruth gave a quick seminar on Housel positioning while this was being done.  I understand it better but not 100% yet.
There is a queen cell shown here.  One piece of comb had at least five queen cells as did others.  The hive was supplying bees for the area over a long period of time.
Using the Bee Vac to remove bees from the comb.  This was the inaugural test for the Mighty Bee  Vac and it worked very well after a couple small adjustments.  Almost everyone got a chance to man the hose.  There were plenty of bees for everyone.
The honey bucket is about to over flow.
This is near the end of the removal.  All the light covered area had comb on it.  Some pieces were two and half feet or longer.
Roberta checks the bees in the Bee Vac. 
The cutting board after all the comb has been cut down and put into frames or the comb buckets.
These are the bees as they arrived at Tom's for their new home.  The Bee Vac plastic lid was removed for the trip to make sure there was enough air and it was covered with a sheet for extra protection.  The design worked just fine and none of them got out.  But they were very annoyed when the sheet was first removed.  By the time they were ready for the hive they had calmed down a good bit.
There were special plans on how to remove the super from the Bee Vac.  Once on site Tom and I decided to use the direct approach.  He put a super full of brood on the bottom.  Then I lifted the BV super and Tom pulled out the bottom of the BV and this super was placed right on the brood super.  The same minimal approach was used for the top.   Remove the BV top and drop a top board on the hive.   Pull the plug off the bottom of the brood super and leave the area, quickly.
Tom and his bees should be happy in Highland Park.  One bee did follow us to the street but she left without out getting either of us.
All in all, a fine operation.  A large hive was rescued before the building it occupied was destroyed.  Had Backwards not stepped in the hive would have been sprayed.  Several club members left with brood for their hives, a couple of us had some honey and Tom has a new hive.
Best of all everyone got some valuable experience and the Mighty Bee Vac proved to be a full success.

I do have some videos from the event.  Once I figure out how to do it, I hope to have them up on youtube and linked to this site.  

Once again Backwards Beekeepers helps save the world, one hive at a time.

1 comment:

Meggie said...

Dale, thanks for documenting bee party at Pierce College. Glad to hear there was only one bee sting casualty. Looking forward to seeing the solar wax melting demonstration at the next BB meeting.