The Big Bee Move

We are accidental Honey Bee Keepers. We did not look for Bees, Bees found us. One reason they don’t mind our yard, I guess, is because there is no spraying of pesticides or insecticides. Here, Mother Nature rules.

This is our 1st Bee Move and all that we have learned is from the internet. We have observed and researched and decided ~ It’s Now or Never ~ because come winter, it would not be a good time and the Bees are going to need their honey badly.

So with homemade Top Bar Hive ready … we moved the Bees from the top of our Rain Water Barrels’ Cabinet to their new abode.

Entry point above Rain barrel Cabinet

Entry point above Rain barrel Cabinet

It's pretty high up.

It’s pretty high up.

We made our smoker from coffee cans, spare wood pieces & plastic sheets, forming a blower of sort, stuffed with newspaper and dried pine needles and lit it, resulting in very minute flame but lots of smoke.

1homemadesmoker

Coffee can smoker

Yes, smoke got them leaving their hive.

Buzzzz

Buzzzz

The first comb got cut off and brought down to have the bees gently brushed off.

Gentle (brushing) persuasion.

Gentle (brushing) persuasion.

It is going to be hung on the hanging bar’s mesh-hook.

4comb2

Checking its size

Fitted on the bar.

Fitted on the mesh hooks of the bar.

In the hive box

There it is hanging in the hive box

The 2nd comb which came down was much bigger than the 1st so adjustments had to be made. Each piece of cut off was carefully re-hung facing the same direction.

The 2nd comb

The 2nd comb

Cutting off a little

Cutting off a little, the cut off piece was attached to another bar with another cut off piece

Another comb into the hive

Preparing to brush the bees off another comb into the hive.

We underestimated the number of combs and colony size. It was actually 3 times larger than we expected but fortunately we had prepared lots of extra bars in anticipation of its growth, so we spent over 4 hours slowly moving 11 large combs onto 14 bars. Some were so heavily loaded with honey that we had to use a tray to hold its weight, to keep it from breaking when removing. We decided to use strings (just in case) to prevent it from falling off the hooks.

String tied for security

String tied for security; see the little bee inspecting his new home?

As we slowly watched while continuing to move combs, we saw that they had found the “official” entrance/exit into their new residence. They swarmed into the new hive indicating their queen is already in there.

Entrance & Exit

Entrance & Exit

We took only 2 small broken pieces for ourselves as we know these bees would need their honey for winter… plus we want them to continue living with us.

Small pieces filled with honey

Small comb pieces filled with honey

They were all over … and we left them alone to salvage whatever spilled honey they could, to bring home. In the plastic container we have some not so clean honey ~ with wood pieces, sand, etc ~ and this will be returned to the hive in winter. How? We will learn that on the internet and all information/advice will be appreciated.

They were all over.

They were all over.

New Hive

New Hive ~ the roof will go on later

We will not disturb them for the next 5-6 days and hope they like their new hive. I will be watching their activity very closely.  In the meantime, I must say fresh honey from the comb is beyond description ~ just heavenly.

Honey and comb

Honey and comb

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13 responses to “The Big Bee Move

  1. Great work. Don’t dilute the honey. The bees will process it to remove the water using up more energy in the process. Put it somewhere safe where they can get to it.
    You could put it in the bottom of the hive in a plastic tray and they will relocate it into other parts of the comb. Or if you don’t want to disturb them the put it near the hive in a container with a small entrance so they can visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on World Organic News and commented:
    Accidental beekeepers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great! I would have never even known that you could move honey bees.

    Like

    • We didn’t either, but when we found out we had honey bees we just went on the internet to find out more about them. This colony grew very fast so we just had to do it. Since we didn’t want to lose them we decided not to use a bee removal service.

      Like

  4. You’ll have to keep us posted on how much honey they share with you.

    Like

    • Will do. But this is our 1st attempt & we did not take much honey filled comb as we wanted them to have it for winter. We have hand-crushed the comb we took and it’s right now very, very slowly seeping thru a sieve. I’m also going to try to make some lip balm with the wax.

      Liked by 1 person

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