Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sunken Dreams But Happy Endings

Those of you that follow my blog will remember that we rescued a hive living in a hollow tree that was scheduled to be cut down. It was a dream of mine, to one day, be able to "drum" the bees out and into a hive where we could "watch" over them, (so to speak). Drumming is a technique used many years ago to get honeybees out of tree logs and into man-made hives. I've seen this done on videos but I can't seem to find them again :/
From the pictures I've taken at the entrance of the log hive, the girls seem to be doing fine, with the exception of the varrora mite I see on one of them in the photo above :/ (on the left) can you see it?
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were inspecting some of our yard hives and decided to take a peek in the log hive to see how they were doing.....

Anticipation was mounting for us both! But we were a bit suprised they didn't boil out from the opening.........
Nothing! Just a few bees meandering around! What could be wrong? When we sealed them up last summer this hive was overflowing with bees!

This is so disappointing! I knew at this point there would be no drumming at all for this log hive! :( Pesky wax moths!
I started taking out the comb to see how many bees were still here and hopefully *bee* able to save the ones that are left.

The farther inside I went the more bees I saw, but it was a good way inside :/
My husband cut away the log so I could get farther inside. The more comb I pulled out and the closer into the bees I got, I started vacuuming them up with the bee vac. Notice I had to remove my veil, it was in my way, but I did cover my head and hair ;)

It was nice to start getting brood, eggs and a little pollen and honey. This will go into frames in their new home.
I noticed the bees seemed to be going into a different part of the log, but I couldn't figure out where......then I remembered! Duh, they were going to the very end of the trunk! My husband helped me move the vac to the other end and I finished vacuuming the rest of the girls up, hoping and praying I had gotten the queen and she was alright!

Back into my veil/hat (it's dark and I didn't want them crawling on me)I brushed the girls from the vac into their new home. They were closed up til the next morning when I'll check to see if I got the queen.

And I am SO thankful, I did! She is healthy and BeeUtiful!!!!
Can you see her? Isn't she lovely??? Honeybee Queens are the sweetest things ever!!!! ;)I hope you enjoy your beekeeping experiences as much as we do!

Until Next Time!
Julie ;)