This story begins with a message asking me to get in contact with them as there are Bees in their friends compost bin. After an initial chat about what the bees look like, and how many of them there are, it was decided to pay them a visit.
On a Monday afternoon around 1515hrs we arrived at their address to see for ourselves who was living inside the Compost bin. It was in fact a colony of Honey Bees and we decided to ask some further questions, to ascertain exactly what we were dealing with. The family moved into their home in January 2014 with Bees already inside the compost bin. In around March / April there was a lot of activity with at some point a swarm leaving the compost bin. This reduced the amount of Honey bees and gave the residents some piece of mind.
The family had a second child recently and were a little anxious of raising a young child whilst living with Honey Bees in their garden, which is why I was contacted to remove them.
As I looked at the compost bin, the honey bees appeared active and healthy for a warm October day. The lid of the compost bin was shut, I was unable to see how big and what condition the colony was without removing the lid and disturbing them.
With the honey bee retrieval equipment at the ready, I turned the lid and carefully removed it. Wow was the first word that sprung to mind at the initial sight of the colony. The colony had made some beautifully shaped comb and they had a placid personality.
I managed to place the lid upside down on the floor so we could begin the removal of this colony. We started by removing all of the honey comb and placing it inside a container, there was some honey inside the comb, but not enough for them to survive until the following spring.
Once the entire comb was removed, I shook the remainder of the Honey Bees into the container. It was now time to retrieve the Honey bees from the compost bin, therefore it was time to use the bee vacuum.
I turned to the container which now contains the comb and honey bees. I placed on a lid that had been adapted to take two vacuum hoses and prepared to remove them. I turned on the vacuum and began sucking up any honey bees found on the compost bin and us, this process did not take long to complete and we were finished and ready to pack up and return home.
After a 45 minute return drive home, all that was left to do was to rehome this colony into their new home, which is my demonstration Warre, so after a little setting up, the beehive was ready.
I placed a queen excluder between the 1st and 2nd box which would contain the Queen inside the beehive. Comb with honey stored inside was separated from the empty comb and placed on top of the queen excluder to give the colony their honey back to them. The bees inside the container were then poured into the beehive before we closed up the hive and walked away.
We just have to wait in anticipation to see how these honey bees take to their new Warre beehive. As long as we see some new comb being built under the top bars, with Honey bees continuing to live inside, hopefully, just hopefully we will see them in the Spring of 2015 ready for another year.