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.
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.
Yes, smoke got them leaving their hive.
The first comb got cut off and brought down to have the bees gently brushed off.
It is going to be hung on the hanging bar’s mesh-hook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.