Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dancing with Bees

I've been buried with school, both mine and the kids'. But I decided I needed a new hobby anyway. The following is courtesy of Taximom, pictures at some point, but I'm not going to wait to get that done before giving you the scoop:

Most of you know that Taxidad collected logs off the new stake property
back in January. Unbeknownst to him one of the cut logs had a
beehive in it. The very bottom of it had been cut open, exposing
the hive. I mentioned it to Momofalltrades, knowing she was interested in her
own hive.

After looking it over and discovering that it was an active hive, Momofalltrades
went into action. She researched on the internet and public library
to gain insight on how to capture these bees and move them into a
beekeeping hive. (Sorry, Clean Queen, but Momofalltrades will be on my handcart team.)

Late yesterday afternoon we FINALLY had an opportunity to try and
move those bees. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! After donning some makeshift
clothing and netting we went to work. I am certain neighbors driving
by thought the aliens had landed. I know one car drove by a couple
of times - I'm certain it was because they needed to make another run
to Wal-Mart.

Momofalltrades began pulling out honeycomb while I attempted to do some
filming. After pulling out as much as she could, I began cutting out
what remaining combs that we could reach. We were able to locate and
move the brood combs - they have the developing babies. The hive was
much larger than we thought (it's huge!) and FILLED WITH HUNDREDS OF

The next step was to attach the combs to frames, which are then
placed into their new hive. The bees really did not pay much
attention to us as they clung to the combs as well as the walls of
the old hive. After securing the combs and placing into the new hive
we proceeded to scoop bees out of the old hive. It was so cool to
reach your hand into the hive and scoop what bees you could out, and
then brush them into the new hive. This was going to take a while,
and it was getting dark, so we switched gears.

We then flipped (gently) the old hive upside down and placed a
portion of the new hive on top of the opening, and then banged on the
old hive with pieces of wood. A large number of the bees attached
themselves to the bottom of the new hive in a cluster. Hopefully the
queen was in that group. If she moves into the new hive, the rest
will follow. After about 10 minutes had to stop. It was really
beginning to get dark, and that is a dangerous time to mess with them.

We ended up placing the old hive open end down and on top of the new
hive. Hopefully the remaining bees will migrate to the new hive, and
those responsible for caring for the brood will do just that, and
that the queen will like her new home. If so, then the move is
done. If not, then Momofalltrades and I will sell tickets for folks to come and
watch us for round 2 of Dancing with the Bees!