Log Beehive Removal, End of Summer 2021
I was already lucky enough to catch a swarm at Jenni's house, and Queen right a failing hive!
Then she calls me to tell me she found a hive, this one was inside a large old dead cottonwood tree, on the south end of their property.
They use wood to burn in the stove to warm their house for winter. There was a arborist putting trees on their property that he had cut town and removed. This tree came from him.
This one tree was perfect for a swarm to established themselves.
Unfortunately it was in the middle of the wood piles, and they couldn't stay there.
Insert the beekeeper again 😁
This swarm must have found the log about the same time I caught the swarm out of the tree at their house.
This hive had fresh comb all over the place, full of nectar and just a little brood (baby bees).
Me being the genius I am.... I opened the hive up and then stuck my arm inside because I couldn't see anything!
Even with a flashlight 🔦
That's when I got the first dozen or so stings to my right arm.
That's also when I felt all of the comb squish in my hand and pour nectar all over the dam place.
Did I mention it was a 90°+ day in Colorado 😥
After I got the entrance opened up, I placed an empty frame in the bottom of the hive. I started pulling out the comb as gently as possible. Anything that fell off the top of the log landed on the frame with foundation under it. This tree had been occupied by rats or mice at some point.
There was a lot of nastiness in there.
I continue to shake bee into my boxes and attempt to smoke out the rest of the bees.
The next thing I knew, all of the bees were gathering on the wood pile across from their tree.
I think the Queen crawled to the wood pile to hide, and everyone else followed.
So then I started grabbing logs covered in bees, and walking them over to the hive. Giving them a sharp tap and knocking them into the hive. I assumed that I had gotten the Queen, and as many bees as possible after an hour of watching them march in.
I loaded them up and took them to my Longmont Apiary.
About 48 hours later, I got another call from Jenni.
Jenni: "There seems to still be a cluster of bees in the tree."
Me: "Shit, I'll be out in a little bit"
It was after 6pm when I showed up.
A cluster of bees had gone in-between the bark and the tree to hide the first day.
They were getting cold and hungry, so they were easy to scoop up and put in a medium hive body for transportation.
I am so glad Jenni called me, because the moment I finished lighting light up the sky and it started raining. They came home with me and stayed in my Jeep that night with a little syrup feeder on top of my Hivebutler for them. I was up super early the next morning.
That's it! Those 2 little clusters of bees 🐝 I transferred everyone over and placed a feeder on top with their own honey.
After I removed all of the comb from the tree, I put it in a comb crusher.
Like I said, it had a lot of nastiness in the syrup/ honey.
I will admit I probably went through 50 filters. I really wanted them to have their honey back as close to how they left it as possible.
After I processed everything, they had 1.5 gallons of honey. I put all of it in a top feeder for them to take back down to make new comb and store. There was about 2lbs of wax also.
After they took down their own honey I started feeding them 2:1 sugar water. There isn't much around for the bees right now. So I need to help them out. They also got a pollen patty. Bees need carbs and protein to function. Providing these resources in the hive will not prevent them from leaving to forage.
This hive removal required prednisone and Zantac along with topical CBD/THC cream.
I lost sight of all of my knuckles and wrist bone. So many lessons learned!