2010-01-16 The tree hive

I was at a friends place in Box Hill, when their son came running in and said that some bees had fallen out of a tree down the road. Sure enough, a solid 'nest' (ie established feral hive, not a swarm) of bees had got so heavy that it snapped the branch it was hanging from, and landed splat on the footpath. Honey oozing out the bottom. Lots of pissed off bees. Quite a lot of bees hovering around the top of the tree where the nest used to be. Someone had moved the caravan while the kids were down the beach. A local beekeeper, Dale, lived nearby, and was about to collect the swarm as a community service. He offered us the bees, which was very cool. I had my bee suit in the car by accident, but I was wearing shorts and thongs, so I didn't help him. ......

The nest, pretty much as we found it, and one of Dales boxes. He dips his hives in hot wax to preserve them , rather than paint.

That's Dale, looking the part.
He cut away as many branches as possible, plonked the ball of comb and bees over the box, and smoked them down, quite aggresively, all the while cutting off the branches, and disconnecting the comb from the branches. Decent bits of comb, whether honey or brood he put aside, and later skewered onto some wired up frames without foundation, and put them in the box.

Exposing the comb

Nice one, Dale.
He also taught me that you can drink a stubby of Coopers Red through the mask, no problem. First thing he did when he turned up was produce a sack of cold beers. Thirsty work.

This hive was kept at Dales for a week, then we took it up to Buxton, tranferred it into one of our boxes, gave Dale his box back complete full of frames and foundation, and a box of beer for his trouble.

They are now known as the "Tree Hive', currently in Adrians back yard in Buxton. We re-queened this one late last summer .

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