In April, Deacon’s bee instructor, mentor, and friend, was informed of a bee hive in a tree in our little town. They went into town to scope it out and she asked Deacon if he would like to catch it and he accepted the challenge with her guidance.
The first thing they did was install a screen cone in the opening. The wide end is placed over the hole. The bees come out but they cannot get back in. Of course this does make them angry. The idea is that eventually all or most of the bees will come out and not be able to get back in so a box is placed next to the cone and the bees will make a new home in the box which will eventually be brought back to the apiary. It can take weeks for the hive to move in.
There were some small entrances where the bees were still able to access the hive. He had to seal them up with some steel cleaning pads (couldn’t find any plain steel wool) and silicone caulk.
He found another tiny entrance where the girls were entering single file. Bees were still exiting the cone. He sealed up this one with some silicone and hopefully that will do it. They were very busy in the hive box.
The Following Weeks
Deacon checked on the trapout frequently over the next few weeks.
He took brood and egg and food to the box so they would have the tools to build a queen. However, he accidentally took them the queen from his hive at home.
I went with him one day to just “check” on it. I took a couple of pics and a bee pinged my head which is a warning so I walked away, back to the car. He had really angered them and I didn’t want to be near it. I was not wearing a suit. When he returned to the car, covered in very angry bees, a few of them came for me. Initially I just got up and walked away hoping they’d leave me alone. However, one ended up in my hair and calm-cool-and- collected me freaked out. I ended up running down the road with a bee sting on top of my head. I can laugh now. Not so funny then.
Six weeks later and he brought the hive home and added it to the apiary. His mentor congratulated him on his success. She said as a beginning bee keeper it was an accomplishment.