I went up to visit Adrian and Jen and family in Buxton over the break, took the time to sort out a swarm that had lodged itself in their shed, also to check out the Taggerty Girls.
Adrian had dumped a whole lot of old frames in a plastic bag, into his shed a few months earlier. Somehow, a swarm had discovered this, and decided that it was gonna be their new home, on the floor of Adrian's shed. No idea where they were from, there are lots of feral bees in the area, but maybe it originated from the Other, or Metropolis, when they used to live up here a year or so ago...?
Here's the shed
The feral hive is in the black plastic bag on the floor.
We had a spare box, but no lid or base, so we made them out out of materials at hand...
An old table made the flat bits (Vic Ash, I think), Oak for the trims and surrounds. Oregon legs. No time to paint, but it's probably gonna last longer than pine anyway. We'll see. Banged it together in an hour or so. Sun was going down, no time to waste.
inside the black plastic bag was an orange box with 7 frames in it, just kinda thrown in, even had a hive mat over it. A lot of dirt and debris, other bugs, moths too.
The bees had pretty much stuck to frames, not much burr comb, except on a couple of frames.
Below as we left it for the night, the old frames slotted into the new box, we added one frame to make it 8, and left it there, with a bit of a ramp up to the door. Later at night , after all the foraging bees were home, we blocked up the door and lashed it together for the trip up to Taggerty the next day...There is some doubt as to whether this hive is OK or not, the frames were going to be thrown out. The bees had died out over winter (they were in a wet damp spot, subject to frosts....not sure the full cause) and the frames had gone a bit fungal and weird, Adrian was going to burn them initially, but then these guys turned up. We'll see.
By the way, this guy is properly allergic to bees, (not just the namby pamby "ooh it swells up and hurts" kind of allergy...more like a "rush me to the hospital , my heart is racing and I can't see" kind of allergy....)
... but he does not care.
(...he does have an epi-pen handy...)
So, the next day....
...a trip about 15 minutes up the road to Taggerty. This is further north up the Maroondah highway, on a property owned by Madge and Anna, they grow wine grapes at the foot of "little Cathedral" the north end of the Cathedral range.
At the site, awesome spot, morning sun and afternoon shade. Perfect. And what a view.
First we checked the two boxes already there, the Utter Hive (double), and a new hive from a swarm I'd collected from over the road at Kate's (single)
heaps of brood, all good
Honey! We grabbed 3 frames that were barely ready to take (70% capped both sides)
Spot the queen...
Kate's swarm was doing OK, but had not really filled the first box yet.
We opened up the new hive, that we'd taken from the Buxton shed that morning. This one is called the Beverly Hillbillies hive. Looks kinda home-made. Shabby, but practical. Texas tea.
Not a bad view to wake up to....
, oh, and later that day, we went fishing in the Acheron, but that's another story.....