Thanks for the replies; hope we get time and some clear weather before Christmas.
Mick, if you come down this way I'll hold your legs so you can inspect the bottom of the drum :) Yes, plenty of honey here. Town has been slightly better than home but it's still dribbling in here with gum trees out. Might be a while before the next extraction though.
Ozebee, I got a swarm call a couple of weeks ago. The lady wanted to keep the bees in a new plastic hive. It turned out to be an external hive that had been there for weeks, and by the time I was called, had about 100 bees on a 6 inch piece of comb. I told her to let nature take its course and look for a swarm elsewhere. But I was thinking - had it been a viable cutout, what can you do with complete plastic frames? You can't remove foundation and secure the brood comb. Anyhow, regarding your swarm patrol, I'm on a local bee club list just until other beekeepers get back from holidays, then I'm happy to just have friends call if they find a swarm. I don't have a mobile phone that works here for a start. I probably need one more hive to replace my laying worker hive then that's the limit reached again..! (Till I assemble the boxes on the verandah..)
Ben, thanks. Do you have photos yourself of the barrel? I am curious as to how the comb will be sitting in the drum. If it's attached to the iron it sounds like an easy task, but I'm guessing that might not be the case. It must be like an oven inside.