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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Honeybee wall removal

As I said before we have learned allot about bees from the internet BUT we have learned even more by diving in head first and by doing it (knowing of course some of what we might be up against). My husband found a pdf file on the "net" that gave instructions on how to make a bee vac. He and a friend made one and it worked like a charm! The suction is very low and in the back we put a soft foam so the bees wouldn't fly and hit the back of the box. If you want the instructions let me know & I'll get them to you or post them to give credit to the guy that had them on the web. We've made another one since then with some changes of our own.
One of the things that kept going wrong was the hose kept clogging up because of the honey so we had to have two hoses. When working with bees it's best to always be prepared. When I say it clogged because of the honey my husband had to cut the comb because the bees had built several layers of comb one behind the other and in order to vac the bees we had to cut the comb in sections as we vacuumed them, therefore when the honey dripped down it got on the bees that were below and when they got vacced in it clogged the hose.
As you can see the bee vac can be used by both female and male ;-)

We got the bees out safely along with the honey and comb and all with only two stings and that was on my back side when I went to take off my suit two little girls had crawled on my back and
I didn't know it until I rolled them.
This was our first ever wall extraction and it was the most pleasant experience. But, boy was it a sticky, sticky mess!
We got the hive home and into their new home. I took the comb we retrieved out of the wall, cut it to fit the inside of empty open frames and tied it with string (not a good thing) the best thing to secure it in with is small wire, but I didn't have any and was in a hurry to "fix" it up before night fall. But even though the string wasn't a good thing it did hold up pretty good...long enough for them to propolise the sides, top and bottom to hold it in. Then they chewed the string off and carried it out of their entrance, all in a matter of a week or so. Honeybees are amazing creatures! I don't think we really grasp the concept when we say we're "busy as a bee". This hive we call our # 2 hive because it was our second hive. It has gone through so much though since we rescued them in March of this year (2009). The day after we brought them home we got a call to please come get a swarm of honeybees. Boy, news travels fast! My husband got these on his lunch break and called me to come get them to bring them home. This happened for the next three days. So within a week we had 5 hives, three of them were swarm hives. Anyway, getting back to hive #2 I believe they were robbed within a day or two of setting them up because I saw a large amount of dead bees on the ground around their entrance and the number of bees had dropped drastically. That was their first battle. The next was they lost their queen, then a worker decided she would take over the role and every time I would put eggs in for them to hatch their own queen she would chew the sides of the queen cell and kill the queen. I'll post all of this next time because I have pictures. This blog wouldn't let me post but four pics at a time. So to be continued........
Bee Busy as a BEE ;-)

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