BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > HONEYBEE REMOVAL

I got your survivor queen right here!

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Understudy:
What I love about cut outs and feral hives is they have stories to them. This one isn't finished so I will leave you with a cliff hanger but I stopped because this was to good to do without pictures and I plan on taking some tomorrow.

I like hives that have been in the wild for a while. They have survived under adverse conditions and usually are pretty strong and healthy. Think Purvis queens without the cost.

Working at the fair you listen to the "Are those killer bees?" people when they see your observatiuon hive. You answer everyone who has a question about CCD by pressing play on the tape recorder in your head because it is the same answer over and over. You hear the stories how everyone's grandfather was a beekeeper but you never hear the stories of anyone under 50 being a beekeeper. And every kid out there is more than willing to tell you that they have been stung by a bee. But how the bee that stung them doesn't look like the one's in the observation hive.

Then there is that rare treasure. The person comes over and they have almost a look of relief on their face. Do you take bees from homes(you can substitute homes for almost any other common location)? When you tell them yes. You can see the glow return to their complextion.
Such was the case as this woman came over while I was working the fair. She explained they were in a box. I was like what kind of box? A box that the bees are living in. I almost thought she was speaking of a hive box because it was a white box on the ground. But something about it didn't seem like a hive box so i told her I would go by after I got back from Dallas, TX. Well I went by today.

The woman's husband led me out just past the fence of her backyard. Into an area that was over grown with saw grass and other plants and tress you would find common in Florida if you walk along the canal. The little strip of land was next to a drainage canal that had not been cleaned for a long time. Her husband and I trappst through the overgrowth like a pair of amature explorers. And then we found it. Next to the fence was a white box at a wierd angle. With bees coming in and out of it near an opening at ground level. A closer examination showed the box to be a old style styrofoam igloo like container.

Now one way to get bees worked up is to wave branches and or sawgrass over the entrance  of the hive. So we had been very carefull but I still got poped on the eyebrow. We slowly backed out of jungle adventure. I went and got in my full bee suit something I rarely do even on cut outs. Got the smoke lit and borrowed his machete. Now I look like some B horror film serial killer with a machete in one hand and a smoker in the other.

I work my way back to the makeshift offbrand beemax stryrofoam hive they live in. I smoke heavily because i am getting ready to do a lot of distrubing of the enviroment around this hive.

So without losing any fingers or bad strokes that would remove one of my limbs. I managed to cut around the hive. What I saw made me say I am coming back tomorrow.

The igloo had a hive in and it looks like someone took the hive and tossed it with the hive into this area. The comb is at wierd angles and has the gray color of old comb. The bees don't work that comb. That comb was also exposed. A young tree ahd started to grow through the exposed comb. There was the tall stems of the swamp grasses that had also surronded the igloo. In spite of all of this and the hive at ground level it had survived. And there there was one more. I brushed some dirt off the top of the igloo to clear my site of the igloo. My surprise was the dirt was an ant hill. So here is a hive that has been here at least one year if not longer. And has survived all of these horrible conditions. I worked on  freeing up as much as was securing the hive to the ground. I need to be able to remove this in one pull without it falling apart. Here is a hive with no health issues that has been around for a while and survivied all the nastiness mother nature can throw at it.

After I had cleard away enough that I was comfortable with what I was seeing and I was able to look at the inner comb. I decided I would stop and come back tomorrow and take photos and so you guys what was going on. This one is a keeper.

With my luck I will go back tomorrow and they will have absconded.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


JP:
I guess you'll need to bring lots of cinnamon for the ants, right? I'm having trouble imagining this odd hive so please take pictures, I know you said you will, ok, I trust you won't keep us in suspense for too long. Good luck, this sounds like a weird one.


......JP

Kimbrell:
Can't wait to here how this one turns out.  I would like to see the pictures, too.  I don't quite understand the part about "the igloo had a hive in it and it looks like someone took the hive and tossed it with the hive into this area".  Was there a hive body in the cooler or was the comb built directly onto the cooler?  Love your removal stories.  You are way braver than I am!

Understudy:

--- Quote from: Kimbrell on January 31, 2008, 08:29:27 pm ---Can't wait to here how this one turns out.  I would like to see the pictures, too.  I don't quite understand the part about "the igloo had a hive in it and it looks like someone took the hive and tossed it with the hive into this area".  Was there a hive body in the cooler or was the comb built directly onto the cooler?  Love your removal stories.  You are way braver than I am!

--- End quote ---
What it looks like is there was a hive in this cooler and someone took it and then tossed into the area it is now. Despite being tossed here and landing at a bad angle the hive survived. They have since built more comb and use that have abandon the odd angled comb.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Kimbrell:
Interesting.  Just goes to show the bees are much tougher than they seem.  Anxiously awaiting the next installment!

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