Here are the promised cut out photos.
Contemplating the task at hand
Into the void, what you can't see in the photo is how steep the garden is! we were set up on a terrace and the garden bed drops away from there towards the house.
A better look after some smoke and some trimming. Note the sticks coming out at all angles, something I wasn't expecting
Part way through the job, having a breather. Mental note: take water next time :-D
Most of the brood comb went in to the box and the bees seemed inclined to follow it which I take is a good sign. Never did see the queen though :'(
Veiw from the front, the stick is to prop the lid open to allow better access
Packed in the car ready for the trip home. There is a piece of wood behind the duct tape, but I lost one of the nails. Duct tape to the rescue :-D
All in all it was an interesting experience.
Copped a few stings to my right wrist when one of the nitrile gloves i was wearing came un-tucked from my sleeve, currently typing this with sausage fingers and a big fat hand :-D I was supposed to work today but only did half a day, as the more I use my hand the more it swells. Needless to say, the gauntlets went on after that.
We went back at about 8:45 that evening to pick up the hive and there were still bees all over the outside and a grapefruit sized cluster in the tree where the foragers had landed. I cut the cluster out of the tree and shook it in front of the hive. A bit of smoke, some gentle scraping off the sides of the hive and a mist of water from a squirt bottle and the majority marched inside. Probably left about 100 behind.
Honestly don't know if I got the queen, but I took the way they marched in to the hive to be a good sign. here's hoping. I don't know how good she was anyway, there was as much drone brood as anything else. I'll give them a frame of eggs from one of my better hives when I get them out to the farm just to be safe.
Oh, and I am so building a bee vac after this. I think it would have made the job so much easier.
And a great big thanks to my wife Christine. I honestly couldn't have done the job without her help :-*