Welcome back for Part 2 of Fuzzybeekeepers Great Adventure!
When we last left Fuzzybeekeeper, he had just admited that he had gotten overheated because he was wearing three layers of clothes on a 100 degree day. Oh well, nobody said he was too smart!
Anyway, once I 'revived', I got redressed and felt fine. I went back up in the lift and started working on the nest.
Here is what the nest looked like before I started working on it.
Yes, Jay, that's about how it looked.
I started vacuming the bees up and my vacume worked great. The bees were really docile and easy to work with. I spent about 15 minutes with the vacume and then started cutting comb.
Unfortunately, the combs were vertical and the outside few were empty. I cut out the empty combs and dropped them into a 5 gallon bucket to be reworked. When I got to some brood, I mounted it in frames with plastic slip-ties They worked pretty good except for the ends that were left sticking out. I had to cut off the ends later so the frames would go together.
Most of the combs I came to were honey. Very little brood in the combs. I did find a few patches of eggs so I made sure I put them in a frame. As I will state later, I don't think I got the queen but I am hoping they can raise a queen from these eggs.
I spent from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. working the combs. I would vacume some bees and then cut some comb. I got two 5 gallon buckets of comb and honey and a medium frame of brood and eggs. The eggs wern't covered in bees the whole time, but since it was literally 100 degrees outside I think they stayed warm enough.
After a while, I switched to my second storage bucket for my bee vac and pretty well filled it up with bees, too.
After a couple of hours I got most of the outside combs off and found a hole in the trunk where the original nest must have started.
I could get my arm inside and took a lot of brood out of there. I took out as much as I could reach. My arm was inside the hole up to my elbow and I could still feel more comb but I couldn't get it out and it was getting dark and I needed to get on so I had to leave it. I don't think I got the queen because I am sure she was behind the comb in the hole.
Because the purpose of working this nest was to get rid of it, I had to close off the hole. I stuffed a piece of screen wire about three foot by 8 foot into the hole and applied several layers of foam over the screen.
Here I am in the lift.
I then took the whole mess and loaded it into my car (a Dodge Caravan with all the seats out) and moved it home. I set up the boxes and poured the bees over the top and got home about 9 p.m.
The next afternoon I went back and cleaned up the hive and tied them down for Rita. This is my 'harem' with my home in the background. The blurry spot in the photo is where honey got on the lens of my camera.
All in all, it was an exciting experience. I've learned a lot and would LOVE to do it again.
My greatest regret is not getting the queen. I'm 99.9% sure I didn't. I just hope they can raise one from the eggs. I'd love to have a queen with her genes. To have a hive that large and still be that easy-going would be wonderful. I'm going to check in a couple of days and if I don't find queen cells, I'll go get a queen from Weavers. They are only 20 miles from here.
I want to thank Mike and Dave for showing up to help. It was nice to have some fellow beekeepers around to help in case something went wrong. Also, thanks to Jay from this forum for his information on posting these photos. His instructions were simple and easy to follow.
I'm sure I will have more thoughts later and will add them as they pop into my fool head.
And so ends Fuzzybeekeepers Great Adventure.