Adrian got a call from an old friend, he lived in the old dairy residence in Yarra Glen, an old registered double brick building. Bees had taken up residence in one of the wall vents. We planned to get the bees out, and made a vacuum-powered bee-sucker, the "Swarm-Master 2010", to help us extract them. Unlike when bees are in a branch of a tree, you cant just shake them into a box. In fact, this was not a swarm, but a well-established hive that had been there for a while, filled the space with comb, and was in fact overflowing.....
|The old dairy. The bees are under the eaves, in the corner.|
|The old vent. There was a reasonable hole in the flywire, behind that was a rusty punched metal grille.|
|Adrian, and the guy who lived there with his wife and kids.|
|Grille off, start sucking.....|
|Not the most comfortable way to work.|
That's me, with electrical tape holding my gloves tight.
we were there for hours, those gloves were disgustingly sweaty by the end. Hot day.
|Immediately under the grille was a block of wood, with comb all around it.|
We hacked out the comb until we could shimmy the block of wood out.
|That's adrian, with the gloves off......|
|Plenty of brood, and lots of Capped honey.|
Tied to frames, pushed onto wire, and put into the box with all the bees,
and I think four empty frames (with just foundation).
Out of the comb that was smashed up, we got two good jars of honey, quite sharp,
and with lots of brick-dust and debris in it.
This hive died out the following winter.
(refer other blog entry "the dairy hive is dead" for the post-mortem)
We're sure that the queen survived this ordeal, but the hive was never quite right.
Because of how we put the comb in, much of it was off-centre on the frame,
lots of random burr-comb and freestyle wax-building.
Every time we opened it up we'd bust the cells open, honey would go everywhere.