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)

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