Hive report: Taking down a hive

20161017_124359Taking down a hive in the midst of robbing is not fun! I finally got everything except one hive body and two frames in and stored before I became a total wimp. The more I took away, the more the bees buzzed (definitely buzz, not hum) aggressively around what was left there–and the farther they followed me with my load of supers and frames. The followed me all the way back to the screened door of my deck even with the frames shaken and brushed before they were put into a closed plastic bin–The one you see in the photograph.

Despite vigorous shaking, thumping, and brushing I still got a few bees onto the back porch where I was bagging the supers and frames so the doors are closed (and Frankie can’t go out so he is having a bad hair day).

When I finally wussed out about those last frames, no amount of shaking, bumping, or brushing was getting them remotely clear of bees–being the wimp that I am I gave up on that and decided that those could simply stay outside until the bees had cleaned all the honey from them because when I got to the screen door to go inside I realized that I had a LOT of bees on me. Despite all the bees following me, I had to take off the bee suit outside. I did that quickly and dashed inside and closed the screen door on  them.

As I started to write I heard least one honey bee that has been carried into the house buzzing frantically at the office window. (I actually found two.) The old cup-and-paper trick works pretty well. If you’re really persistent you can get more than one bee in the cup at a time. There are still a bunch on the back porch–too many for that trick.

All the supers and frames are now sealed up so that honey bees can’t get to them. so they are congregating in the sunshine on the screen, trying to get out. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to address this issue–except sweep up the dead bees tomorrow–or whenever–since these are not going to be house pets and there are too many to catch and put back outside. There are also honey bees outside the screened back porch trying to get in. I hope those ladies will depart and not come back tomorrow.


My big mistake on this whole process was sleeping through my alarm–this would have been much easier much earlier while it was cooler very early in the morning. Since I wussed out on those last frames and body, I guess I’ll make sure I don’t oversleep in the morning and finish the job.

There didn’t seem to be much robbing going on at Salvia yet. I have to wonder if those “foreign” bees will switch their attention to Salvia when there is less for them to attend to at what was Rosmarinus. There was no way to get a robbing screen on this morning after my sleep-in–that was another thing I had intended to do. I’ve got the entrance reduced and it is still a strong colony. Fingers crossed–and up much earlier tomorrow morning!