Well, we did the deed on Saturday.
The owners were very keen to have the bees gone. They actually had a pest controller booked to come out and spray them, but he didn't turn up! Lucky for the bees and me :-D They have just bought the property and want to run horses in the field the tree is in. If the hive was higher up I would have tried to talk them in to leaving it but I suspect a ground level hive and curious horses probably don't mix. I don't think it is a very large colony. the previous owner told them he had a swarm going in to it every spring. So either it is too small a space to sustain the colony over winter or he was mistaken and the swarm was coming out. I am thinking the former at this point, but either way, this will be their last year in this location.
I took iddee's advice and took our weakest hive out so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
The bees seem very calm and are quite yellow:
2 tubes of silicone and some steel wool for filling the bigger gaps and the cone is in place:
Yes, that is number 8 hardware cloth and no I can't tell you where i got it (knocked it off from work :evil: ):
My hive in place:
I went back out today (Monday) to check on how things are going, plenty of activity at my hive, a few lighter bees mixed in with my dark ones, and none at the cone. I couldn't see bees coming out anywhere else in the tree so I am taking this as a good sign, that I have all the field bees already. Now it's just a waiting game I guess. I'll go out for another look next week to top up their syrup and see how they are going.