I had a call a while ago from a bloke who had a swarm in a possom box that he wanted removed. Because he lived close I thought I would go around and have a look at it straight away. The box was suspended in a tree about 6' off the ground and the entry hole was full of bees so I decided to go around after dark and remove the box, bring it home and empty it into a nuc the next morning. Apart from taking it down from the tree all I had to do was fix a bit of plywood over the entry hole and the job's done. :lol:
Well when I lifted the lid off the possum box it was jam packed with comb and bees so in some ways it was a bit more than removing a swarm, more like a mini cutout.
The comb was attached to both the top of the box and two sides so the comb separated when the lid was removed.
The girls were quite the proper ladies nice and docile and happy to have a bronzed Aussie male with them.
The outer comb was quite small but it still had brood in it. The inner comb was much larger and quite filled with brood and around the edges honey and pollen. Not a lot of stores so I may have to feed them this year. The queen came with the box and I have combined this hive with the bees from 2 smaller swarms such that they now fill out a 10 frame deep. Going into winter they are still bringing in nectar and pollen and working hard although I expect to see them slow down as the weather cools. Our lowest is around 46 so they should be flying all year. Fortunately we see quite a lot of blossom in the surrounding suburb and this usually keeps them going over the colder months.
So there you have it. The girls are happy, the queen is doing well, the SHB is under control and I’m happy too
PS I reconstructed the possom box and took it back to the donors in the knowledge that next season I may well have another swarm to deal with. 8-)