2010-10-28 Welcome to Baghdad

I had seen a van parked near work, a  big yellow van with "the Bee Wrangler" written down the side, and a week ago I bumped into the man himself, John. I asked about the possibility of getting hold of a swarm, he said he'd give me a call next one he got. His job is pest control, getting rid of problem bees and wasps. A few days later, the call came in, and he handed me a box of bees. I gave him a bottle of red, not for the bees, they were free, but for the box and flyscreen. Sounds good to me. He got them out of a branch of a camelia, and the bees were still wrapped around a small branch that he had cut off and put in the box. A few were crawling around the top of the box, under the mesh. Probably a mix of australian bees, he thought, some were fairly yellow, while  others were quite black. Mix of caucasians and italians. A big fat drone was scoping us out from under the wire, watching the exchange.

That'll be John, the Bee Wrangler.

Transport from Fitzroy to their new abode in Alphington. In comfort. Glad I didn't have an accident...

First thing, get that thing smoking....

That's me and Edis, my dad, in his brand new bee suit.
He put on three pairs of socks to be sure his ankles were safe.

Inside the box.....

I shook the bees down to the bottom of the box, then up-ended it over a fresh box full of frames.

This is the old box from the Dairy hive, the one that died out over winter.
New coat of paint, new foundation on some of the frames (ie the ones that were nasty),

A few taps on the top of the box to get them down...

...and Voila, that's the camelia branch that John found the swarm in...

...removing the branches one by one, shaking off the bees, smoking them down.

Dale, the box hill beekeeper from the Tree Hive showed me how to do this.
It was getting dark, so I was keen to get this over with.

Welcome to Baghdad.

Looking forward to some Alphington honey in a while. Probably not this year, maybe next.

Thanks to Rima for the photos!

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