Remember in my last post that I realized I had a lot more to add about my experience as a new beekeeper? Well…about two weeks ago now, my fellow beekeeper and mentor, Jack and I took out about three to five pounds worth of bees from a home in Elmira. These bees had not been paying rent and needed to be removed. The owner of the home wanted the bees out but did not want to spray them and harm them. Jack and I shop-vac’d a few pounds of bees with low suction so we could transport them to their new home. We found several usable queen cells in the colony at the Elmira home to place with the newly made hives.
It definitely was a conservation effort, and yet we were able to reap the sweet rewards of about 6 feet long comb honey. The bees had made their home between the studs of a lathe and plaster wall with no insulation. Therefore, 6 feet long and 18 inches wide of honey was readily available for the taking. When we started removing the honey Jack and I realized it was going to be a stickier mess than we originally thought due to the comb not being in sheets. The bees lived in that wall for well over a year. Another keeper had tried to “trap out” the bees by forcing their removal, but the colony continued to thrive.
When we first arrived at the home, Jack told me to put my ear to the wall. Obediently I did so and heard a thunderous noise. I was amazed at how loud they were! Jack felt along the wall and pointed out the change in temperature. At the hottest point he said the center of the hive would be. Sure enough when we took a Sawzall to the lathe and plaster that was exactly the colony nucleus. Amazing!
We kept at the removal for about 4 hours and then Jack advised the area be filled with spray foam so the bees didn’t return. After calling to make sure the bees hadn’t returned and that things were going well in Elmira, I can say the bee extraction/eviction was a success. We got bees, queen cells, honey and wax, while the owner got peace of mind and could now hire a contractor to reside the home.
Although Jack forgot his bee suit, because I took my husband’s truck instead of his, he toughed out the extraction. It was hot, sticky and the bees were not too happy about being temporarily displaced. Jack and I laughed about it on the way home, but what was really funny happened as we returned the equipment. I took off my bee net, but I was not in the clear. As soon as I said,
“Haha, Jack! I didn’t get stung one single time!“
a bee darted out of a bin from the truck and went straight for my eyelid. She got me good. And that is when I realized I was allergic to bees.
Hiya! My name’s Emily. I live in upstate New York as a hobby beekeeper in the suburbs. I love Spring, smiling, apples with peanut butter and creating beautiful things.