The other day I got a phone call about thousands of bees that moved into under the cover of a spa bath. It wasn’t far away, so I thought I could go & grab them. Then the bloke asked about a fee. I plucked $120.00 out of the air & said $120.00. He said that’ll be fine.
I went down at the agreed time of 10 am to discover that the bees had gone through gaps in the corners & were all under the corner. After removing two side panels, the colony was revealed, however difficult to reach & see without getting on hands & knees & sticking ones head in without the veil. I was able to take a nice photo with the owner’s tablet.
I was able to rig up something to support a frame of brood which I pushed on it’s end into the bee mass, hoping the queen would climb onto it. I had a used brood box sitting outside containing 3 more frames with foundation.
I knew I was a bit premature, however I gently removed the brood frame covered with bees, dropping small clusters of bees onto the floor as I went, before placing it in the brood box before quickly putting the lid on. I was on my own at that stage because the family went out house hunting for an investment home.
I moved the brood box entrance as close as possible to the corner of the spa without touching it. As it turned out, first time was lucky, the queen must have moved onto the brood frame. After a couple of minutes the bees started walking in mass towards the brood box entrance, up from the floor & down from the top corner the bees used to enter the spa cavity. The bees just kept coming, & coming & coming. They kept coming, forming a sizable buildup of bees at the 2" entrance on the side because they couldn’t get in quickly enough.
At that point I felt safe to go home. I had previously arranged to go back before dark to pick them up, which I did. I went a bit earlier because I wanted to fill the box with frames to prevent the other frames from sliding. The roof was heavy & chock-a-block full of bees with the frames also covered in bees. I placed the other six frames before replacing the lid after letting a lot of the bees flow out of it like lava onto the frames.
The time between that & when the bees all went back in before dark was used answering the usual questions. Then I taped the lid & blocked the entrances before taking the hive to the truck. The mother-in-law came out with the $120.00, which I thanked her for.
Should I feel guilty? I did advise the owner to silicone all the gaps around the spa bath because the scout bees liked that spot above every other spot in the district, so therefore future scout bees might prefer it again. Maybe that tip in itself is worth $120.00