Wednesday, July 14, 2010

McKinley Cut Out Install

So we've got a large swarm in a box with my 17.5 inch top bars that fit perfectly.  This was a very industrious swarm so I knew they would build quick.  The swarm was going to my cousin Theresa who had a brand new Langstroth hive ready for bees. 

She picked up the bees Sunday evening after they were all in the box and in order to get them in the new hive she had to wire my bars to the top edge of a lang frame.  The cool part was that my bars were a perfect fit on a assembled lang frame.

So all we had to do (which really wasn't easy) was to attach the bars to the top edge of the lang frame. We used two wood screws to do this and the result looked like this.

We attached five bars to the frames. Dropped them in the hive body, added a feeder and Theresa had a happy hive. Thanks to James and Heather Crouch for letting me tear up their house these bees will flourish. Here's a few more pictures of the hive.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The McKinley Cut Out

Got a call from my wife, who got a call from her friend Elizabeth, who spoke to her neighbor who had a swarm.  Got the call on Thursday night and went over to check it out.  By the time I arrived they had already entered the eve of the garage and were calling it "home".  I told James, the homeowner that I would be back the next day over lunch to try and and get them out. 

James was very understanding of why we want to save these bees and agreed to let me gently destroy his garage. ;)  I started by taking off a few trim pieces to see where they might be building comb.  Turned out they had already built about seven nice sized combs and were moving very fast. 

So I cut open the soffit with my handy Milwaukee Hackzall (everyone needs one of these) to reveal the comb and an absolute ton of bees.  It was awesome.

So my plan was to position my box below the swarm where I expected the queen to be.  I had some extra cardboard to build a few ramps or funnels to make sure most of the bees and hopefully the queen would make it in.  Then I was going to put my bars on top, open the entrance, and leave it be until the evening.  Here's what it looked like:

They dropped right in and I put my top bars on and taped it shut with the exception of the entrance.  The bees started fanning and I thought all was good.  Not so.  James sent me a text an hour later saying it didn't work and they were back in the eve.

Long story short - I went back again and this time I strung the comb to my bars and added a feeder.  Set up the box again and knocked them in again.  This time it worked.  Got a text from James that night saying they were in the box and going to sleep.  He read them a book and it was all good.

Wait till you see what we did with these bees next!  (Like the way I got you on the edge of your seat?  I'm getting writing tips from Fox News)