Honey Bees in Wood Pile
It's cold and possibly snowing again so here is one of the bee rescues David Draker and I completed a couple of years ago. The caller worked at a St. James Industrial Park business and noticed bees flying around one of their scrap wood piles, telling us a swarm had moved in.
When we arrived, it looked relatively quiet but then we were also there early morning, before the sun was up for very long, and before anything had warmed up, including us.
As we checked out the wood pile, some little faces popped up.
And then a few more. On closer inspection, we found the honey bees had not just moved in, they had been busy for awhile.
Basically we were looking at a makeshift top bar hive where the top bars were 1x4 inches wide.
Time to suit up!
Luckily this wax comb was hanging down nicely, one piece of comb per wood slat, so it was relatively easy to carefully remove. I draped the kitchen towels over the remaining bees and comb while we carefully removed each wood slat at a time. Much better than using smoke, especially when the honey bees are as calm as these were.
Here's another piece of comb hanging from the last piece of wood we removed from the wood pile.
The piece of comb gets fitted into an empty frame and secured with rubber bands. I settled the wax comb into the frames when I wasn't taking photos, in case you were wondering. :)
Once all of the wax comb was removed, and the queen caged, we brought in a hive into the wood pile to leave for a couple of days so the bees would settle in before moving.
In the video you will see the bees moving into the hive all by themselves. They are following the queen pheromone into their new home.
We left the hive in place for a couple of days, then went back after sunset to pick it up. By going after sunset, most of the foragers were back so we had most of the colony.
We settled them in David's apiary.
This turned out to be much more than a swarm, it was a nicely-established, and large colony that nicely made the move.