Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cutout from my Log Cabin

The bees were entering a minute gap at the top of one of the porch rafters. I had to remove a lot of siding planks to get access.

There was no way I could remove the OSB board once the siding planks had been removed, It had been nailed on before the porch was built so I had to cut out a hole where I thought the bees were. I banged on the board and listened to the roar which gave me an approximate area to cut.

I smoked the bees up and away from the comb so that I could cut the comb attachments at the top without cutting bees. I removed several combs with few bees.

These combs and bees were put in a warre box on which I had stapled a wire mesh on the base. The combs were simply stacked side by side on top of this mesh. The gauge of the mesh has about 1cm holes so all bees can pass through it. I left the warre box right next to the hole in the wall. I had to leave many bees in the hole and was doubtful that I had got the queen. Next morning, it was cold and the bees had all clustered back in the hole. I took a floppy hat and placed it at the bottom of the hole then with a 2" paint brush sort of scooped the cluster into the hat. I quickly placed the hat and bees on top of the combs in the warre box. Closed it up with a top board and put on an inverted jar of honey over the feed hole. I noted when I removed the combs, there were no stores, nada. They were on the point of starvation. More on this later. I left them another night and was glad to see that the bees were still in the warre box which is 3 feet from the hole so I am now confident the queen is in there. I will be gradually moving this hive to the apiary at 3 ft every 3 days. It'll take a while.

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