Thursday, June 23, 2016

My First Cutout

I was called to accompany my beekeeping mentor to collect a swarm under the eve of a local church this afternoon. I was so excited. I packed up my gear, dropped the kids off at a friend's house to play, and headed out.

When I got there and spotted the bees, they looked like such a wimpy swarm, but then I thought maybe a small swarm would be good for me, for my first time anyway. BUT- do you see that small line of bees on the left side of this picture? Kinda all lined up at the roof line? Yeah, those are guard bees. Guard bees guarding a crack in the eve. They'd only be doing that if there was something to protect up under the eves.


It wasn't a swarm.

It was a big, established, old hive full of bees and honey. Lots and lots of honey. When we popped the wooden panel off the eve, honey rained down all over us. Lucky for me I have the smallest hands, so I got to do the extraction (and I'm not being sarcastic, it was awesome).

After 2 hours we finally got most of it cleaned out and most of the bees sucked up with the BeeVac, and after a very sticky ride home our 3rd hive was installed.

I have no idea if we got the queen, so this hive may not stick around.

It was totally worth the experience though.

The experience, and the honey.

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