Monday, May 9, 2011

Elmer's Bees Part Two

"The Bee Vac is loaded.  I am ready to go in, Sir.
The target loaded with bees.  They were so thick and not moving in the morning chill that I looked closely so be sure they were alive
Steve Rosales doing the hard work sucking up the bees.

The comb starts to show up as the bees are sucked into the hive box.

Steve starting to remove the comb.
Carefully collecting as many bees as possible before putting the comb into frames.

Because the comb was in a round container on it's side, it was very difficult to determine which was the correct way to orient the comb.  There were some empty queen cells that served as a guide on a couple of pieces.
I did not save any drone cells, I cut off most of the honey.  There was not a lot of it.  I will use and empty hive body as a feeding shim and give back to the bees tomorrow.

Extra drama, just to the left of the lower bee is a small spider.  I happened to look as it was running circles around that bee and trying to wrap it in silk.  It slowed the bee for a while until another bee came over chased the spider away.
The empty container with only some honey left inside.  The house owner will move it close to another hive that remains so those bees can clean up the honey.
This is the next project.  There is a hive of bees under this palm tree.  They enter a drain slot in the black bucket.  There did not appear to be many bees and we were going to put them in a nuc.  Once again things were not as expected.  The white bucket stand went a few inches into the ground and it is full of bees and comb. Just like the earlier job but not quite as large. A much bigger job than planned so we left them for today. Elmer's Bee's Part Three will be this weekend.
The bees orienting themselves to their new home.  When we removed the bees from the planter they were not the least aggressive.  Apparently they did not like the E-ticket of the Bee Vac.  They were not aggressive but decidedly upset when I put them into the hive.  Later in the evening I will remove the Bee Vac top and bottom. These bees could abscond but there is a lot brood in the comb included in the hive so they are more likely to stay. 
This was a relatively simple removal but it would have been much harder without Steve's help which I appreciate greatly.  The Mighty Bee Vac worked okay at first but was much better when I put blue tape around the junction between the Vac top and bottom and the hive body to strengthen the seal.  That added enough suction that Steve had to reduce it at one point.   The bees were very gentle even when I was slicing through larvae as I cut the comb to fit the frames. 
Look for more of Elmer's bees over the weekend.
Another rescue coming from the Backwards Beekeepers Bee Rescue Hot Line.

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