I guess if I insist on being a different type of beekeeper I will get the different type of requests.
I have had a request to remove a beehive from a compost bin. The compost bin is a black plastic container about 30" high and 24" in diameter at the base. The bees have been living in there for a while. There are probably 20,000+ bees in this one. It is a very healthy well established hive.
Here are the difficulties:
I am stubborn I want to remove these with the queen. Let me be specfic I want to make sure I get the queen and keep her healthy.
I cannot open the lid on the bin without destroying the comb.
If I try to take the whole compost bin the comb will break off and the bees will get hurt possibly including the queen.
The hive is about a half mile from where I live.
So I had a brainstorm. Translation, I may have found either the best way or the most ridiculous way to do this.
I am going to raise the compost bin very carefully and place it on a stand so that the top of the compost bin is 72"(1.8m) above the ground level. I am then going to make sure I have a couple of hive boxes and queen excluder(this about the only time I use one). I will then stand on the inside of the compost bin and look for the queen. I am thinking a co2 respirator will be used here. When I find the queen I put her in the hive boxes with the excluder and place those boxes under the compost bin for 24 hours.
I figure after 24 hours most of the bees will follow the queen into the hive boxes. I would then cut away the comb and place it in frames and add them to the hive boxes. I would then secure the hive boxes and move them to my place.
Once at my place I would put branches in front of the hive and force a reorientation.
As I read this it doesn't even sound easy.
Here are some thumbnail pictures you can look at including my drawing of my evil plan.
Picture from a small bottom opening in the compost bin.
A photograph I took by placing the camera in the small hole in the bottom and facing the camera up.
Another photograph from the bottom.
Well constructive criticism is welcome, good advice is apreciated. And for those can't get up from the floor because the stomach hurts from laughing so hard. Well you can post also I guess.
I am have a new post in this thread with new pictures.