Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Bee Cut-Out

Okay, we finally did it!

This past weekend, in the heavy drizzle/sometimes soaking rain, we got our honey bees. :)

Friends had a hive of bees which had taken up residence in the basement window well of their brick home, behind a piece of plywood covering. These bees had been there probably at least five years or more - it was a very well-developed hive.

We have been working toward the goal of getting these bees since late last summer - up to this point the weather was never right for the bees to survive the move. We aren't really sure it was right this time either - we did lose a lot of bees to the rain in the process.

However, the rain also seemed to help us control the bees quite a bit. Because it was a heavy mist, they really couldn't sting us very well - it was all they could do to voice their buzzing protests. Steven and I were both surrounded with swarms of them at many various times, but neither of us got stung, that we noticed.

We had to improvise some, because we really planned on leaving our hive bodies on the truck and using the truck tailgate as a work surface, but the yard was too wet to drive the truck back into the site.

Took us five hours (not including drive time - including drive time it was seven hours) for this project. By the end of it we were soaked to skin, chilled to the bone, but very glad we had our bees, and hopeful they will survive the transition to our bee hive at the farm.

I forgot to take my camera, and so these poor photos are from my cell phone, but we don't have any of the actual process of cutting the brood comb and fastening it into our frames, etc. because.. well, we were just a bit too busy at that point to take photographs. And the bees were just a little too prolific and riled up for anyone else to get close enough for photos of the process.

(Us suiting up. I know I look dorky and fat (on the left)
but I had on several layers. The nylon jacket I have on over it all,
during the rain, made it impossible for the bees to even land or hang onto me)

Steven beginning to open the hive area in the window well. As you can see, I was already getting quite a bit of rain on my phone camera.

(the exposed hive before we began cutting out the comb,
as we began transferring the bees to our hive.
The top half there is brood comb, etc. but you can also see wax
and old comb hanging down in the bottom of the opening)


SteveO said...

Congrats on getting your bees!

Beegirl said...

That is some project! WOW! Great capture! Congrats on your hive and I hope they do well for you!!