When this tree split in half it managed to split a beehive as well. About seventy percent remained up top while the other thirty percent ended up on the ground. Unfortunately the queen was lost in this accident so the bees abandoned the part of the hive on the ground and took those resources back up to the hive in the tree.
When completing relocations safety is always the main concern. We must stay safe and do everything we can to keep the bees safe too.
Having a scaffolding for working at heights is one of the better ways to relocate bees.
After the comb is all removed and occasionally during the relocation we need to sweep bees from comb or the surfaces they are holding on to. The bees like to stick together when they are on a surface so sweeping them into a container means most stay holding each other and they can then be poured into the new hive.
Here we see where the comb was damaged when the tree split open. The bees left this exposed comb and moved deeper into the tree in an attempt to be more insulated from the weather.
With the hive already exposed it was much easier to reveal the remaining sections without damaging the comb or hurting the bees.
While completing the relocation we saw no evidence of bee brood which indicated the hive did not have a queen. When we came across new queen cells being tended by worker bees we knew the queen had died in the accident and the workers were raising new queens.
With no queen outside of a queen cell the moment we packed up the comb into the new hive box we found the bees all marching for the entrance.
With the bees marching into the new hive we setup the scaffolding in a way that would make it easier for us to collect the hive at night in a few days time and left the bees to their own devices.
We arrived while it was still light to collect the hive to find the bees had already all gone to bed early. With their old hive empty of bees we closed up the new hive and relocated it to our quarantine apiary.
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