Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bee Vlog - April 27, 2013

I got to put my beevac through the ultimate test and removed a hive of bees from inside an RV. It was a small opening—about 8 inches by 8 inches, to a good sized cavity—about 16 inches on all sides. The last time I was out there the hive was pretty small but looked strong.

Photo taken March 22, 2013
The hive was tucked up inside the opening and wasn't easily visible from the outside.

Photo taken April 27, 2013
After just 1 month the hive has boomed into a massive wall of bees and lots of comb.

This time they were so full I'd say they were about 3-4 days from swarming. I found several queen cells and was able to save some of them in case I accidentally killed the queen.

I did find the queen completely by luck. I was taking a break from vacuuming the bees and just sat and watched inside for a minute. Then on one wall, down low where the light was good, the bees all parted like a curtain and revealed the queen to me. She was just sitting there calmly cleaning herself. So I gently scooped her up with the queen clip and stowed her safely away in the hive box. Welcome Queen Flora!

The beevac performed well. Although it did kill about 10-20% of the bees. I think it's due to the ribbed hose. I'd like to find a smooth wall hose to see if that is more gentle. I filled 3 buckets about 4-5 inches deep. I only brought 2 with me, so one had to be emptied into the hive box and refilled. There were so many bees.

The whole process took about 4.5 hours. It was a very messy ordeal. I had a thin coating of honey all over my bee suit, and a thick coating on my gloves. I got a few "accidental" stings from bees that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. 2 through my gloves and 1 on my ankle. But I think I'm starting to get used to them. It's not that the pain or swelling or itching is diminishing (although that can vary depending on the intensity of the sting), I think I'm just not as bothered by them. They happen, I get over it.

Video Link

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