A lady called the bee club president and stated she had a swarm - She said her tenants were going to spray them! I called her, she sent a photo (It was a swarm alright!) and an address. When I got there, there was no swarm. At least it wasn’t a swarm anymore - the bees had moved behind the soffit at the end of the porch. I thought on it a few and, even though I’d never done one before, I decided I’d go in after them and do a cut out.
Looks like a lot of bees, Bobby! Beautiful comb too. Did you spot the queen? Are you going to leave them in a nucleus?
Thanks for the video, I now know how much work these are to post. My first video took me about 3 hours to make 90 seconds’ worth! The second one only took 10 minutes, plus another 10 minutes to upload, so I guess I am learning.
Glad to see you expanding your experience. Beekeeping can be quite a journey.
Thanks @Dawn_SD - The comb was brand new and quite delicate. It was quite difficult to put into frames as most of it was just too short. I did not ever spot the queen and God forbid I squished her! Given that they were relatively calm and not being aggressive the next day, I’m going to assume she was in the nuc.
I put them in a single-storey nuc that night and then added an additional nuc body with drawn comb and some young larvae two days later. They were still calm.
I’ll inspect for eggs this weekend after giving them a chance to settle in.
Making the videos is tough but I’m a computer geek so I get through it quickly. I don’t have the on-screen personality a lot of youtubers have, nor the following, but I do love sharing what I’m doing.
This will count toward my Journeyman certification as part of the UGA Master Beekeeper program! (the Public Service Requirements) http://caes2.caes.uga.edu/bees/master-beekeeper/public-service.html
“Volunteer bee colony removal from structure (not to exceed 2 PSC).”
Looks like a great program. I have a couple of those requirements, just a shame I don’t live in Georgia!
I can totally visualize you as a Master Beekeeper, though. You have what it takes.
Yes, thanks so much Bobby - it’s cool that you saved those bees from getting sprayed
It sure looked like a lot of work & isnt that always the way, getting dark AND a storm coming just as you’re trying to finish up a tricky project!
Let us know how your new hive makes out
very impressive Bob! and you wore shorts!!? Didn’t get stung?
Only in the contractor’s crack… Did you notice the zoom in???
G’day Bobby, well done. Spraying bees to kill them can be easier said than done. Anyway that’s another story. I wouldn’t have done it with bare hands & shorts. I take my hat off to you for that.
That colony in that situation was just perfect for my frame of brood strategy. I would have rested a frame of brood up against the bees. I wouldn’t have tried to retrieve the comb they built. I would have scraped their comb away & replaced it with the frame of brood. With that size colony in that situation, I think I would have used about 4 frames, maybe 2 brood & 2 fully drawn.
Once the bees are settled on the frames, it’s just a matter of removing each frame & transferring them to a bee box, looking for the queen as you go. She will most likely be on a brood frame. Once you know the queen is in the box, it’s just a matter of filling the rest of the box with frames so they don’t shift during transport. Then put the lid on & sit the box as close as you can to the other entrance they are accustomed to using. By night time, all of the bees will be in the box. Then all you need to do is lock the bees in & take them home.
I took one sting on my left index finger when I moved one of the nucs and one on each ankle.
I did not get stung on my it-wasn’t-a-crack lower back…but I guess I came close!
I like that @JeffH, I’ll absolutely try that if the opportunity ever arises again. I wasn’t bare handed the whole time. I put on some nitrile gloves when I started cutting comb out. As far as shorts go, I tend my bee in shorts the majority of the time and almost always come away w/o stings. On one, and only one occasion, one of the girls made it to my inner-left thigh. Based on that experience I’d say shorts aren’t a real issue but shorts combined with boxer shorts could pose an increased risk.
I sometimes tend to my bees at home fully covered except for thongs (flip flops) on my feet. One can get under the strap, it’s not nice to get a decent sting on the foot, especially between the toes & you don’t get a chance to quickly remove the sting.
Sometimes I think it’s better to take that extra little bit of time to put the boots on.
I’m with you on this one jeff: I like the idea of covering up fully and not having to worry when a bee is suddenly crawling up your leg or buzzing around inside the veil. Especially so as I am a beginner. Generally bee stings do not affect me that badly- except on bony places like the hands- or on my face/neck. I don’t like to panic in the middle of doing something and have to drop everything to deal with a bee or a sting. It’s nice to feel fully suited up when a hive turns nasty…
watching videos on youtube of beekeepers working with no protection I wonder what happens if something goes badly wrong and the bees collectively turn on you. I’d rather not find out if I can avoid it… you have to respect a colony that consists of 20,000 + stinging insects…
Totally agree with @JeffH and @Semaphore. Maybe I am a wuss, but in my region, you never know when a hive or swarm is africanized. They are manageable if you are covered, otherwise, they can result in an ER visit.
My local mentor (Mark) has been keeping bees in San Diego for 50 years. He frequently teaches other professional beekeepers about how to requeen REALLY hot hives. One day he had a visiting beekeeper from Michigan. They went out to the apiary, and Mark commented to his visitor he did not have a full suit or even a jacket. He was just wearing a veil and some light gloves. Mark offered to loan him some extra protective clothing, but the visitor declined. He said that he had dealt with a lot of hot hives, and it wouldn’t be a problem. Well, about 2 minutes after they opened the hive, the visitor had about 50 stings up both arms. He threw in the towel at that point and retreated to the truck.
You have to know what you are dealing with in your local region, and respect the local knowledge. I admire courage and skill, but I am a coward. Given the possible nature of many of our local feral bees, I think that is perhaps wise.
For me, a sting on the face lasts 2 weeks, as my dermatologist can confirm, because she asked what the heck the mark was from. On my fingers, a sting swells and itches for at least a week. I am probably extra-sensitive, although not overtly allergic yet. But full clothing precautions are worth it to me. Not criticizing @Bobby_Thanepohn, just saying we are all different, and I can’t do it that way.
Yesterday afternoon a bloke met me at my main bee site to pick up two nucs from me. He knew that he was going to be watching closely as I transferred the bees over. He didn’t even bring a veil to wear. He copped one on the face:) It’s little experiences like that, that make us more cautious next time.
With my bees I wear a jacket, trousers and veil BUT I always keep a set of gloves handy for that “special” day…
Never bare foot because that guarantees a sting on the foot from treading on a bee. Shorts are OK in hot weather though.
my brother used to keep bees on Kangaroo Island- one night he was moving 6 hives in his truck when it became bogged on a dirt road- and one of the hives tipped over. As he tried to dig out the wheels the bees poured out and swarmed all over him he copped 30 or 40 stings all over his head. When he returned home a friend couldn’t stop laughing at him: as he looked ‘just like the elephant man’…
Watched the video, nice job Bobbee! It’s also great to have that opportunity to share about bees with the homeowners