Whoa, I'm getting responses faster than I can type responses. Okay I'll post this and then go back for the others.
Please make sure you are completely protected while dealing with this hive.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will need to order the things I need to set up a hive and a bee suit is definitely
on that list. These bees have been very gentle- so far. When I took the first pictures, I practically had my head right next to the can. I did notice when I blew one of the pictures up to use as a screen saver that there were rows of bees all watching me but none even buzzed me. I know they will react a little differently when I start jostling the can a bit. Two suits, then, one for DH and one for me!
i would lean toward doing a regular old cutout. band the brood into frames and get the queen in there. the others should follow. you can shake most into the hive and place it where you want it. when they figure out that you have taken the queen, they ought to move into the new home. I'd use a queen 'includer' on that one for sure. read through the removal section and you'll get lots of pics and ideas.
I have not wanted to do a cutout late in the season because I am afraid of trashing their winter stores right before our winter weather hits. Those combs are attached to wood going in all different directions under that top board and I'm afraid the combs may really come apart when we try to pull the top board loose. I was planning on leaving them alone until Spring (Michael Bush's suggestion) but as I have been thinking about it, I've been afraid that if I don't time it right I could miss them swarming or even if they are in swarm prep, I might lose the queen in the move. I was hoping to keep the feral genetics until I see if they are strong survivor stock or not or until I get a temperament change.
I guess I'm just trying to conjure up an "insurance policy" to make sure I keep them all until I can do the cutout in Spring- whenever that is around here- February?
I think they should have some experienced help to do it though. This is their first experience with bees and I don't know what they have for protection or what their intimidation level will be when surrounded by upset bees.
Experienced help would be fantastic, as we have no
experience. I think I'll be okay (as far as the intimidation part) if I am in a suit. I have gotten rather attached to these bees. Hopefully they will all just be buzzing around us and won't go all "Galaxy Quest" on me... Anybody know the scene where they are down on the planet getting what they need for an engine repair and they come upon creatures that look like little children. The character Guy says, "Sure they look cute now
but in a minute they are going to turn mean
somehow and there is going to be a million more of them!"