Sometimes accessing the hive can bee harder than relocating the hive. In this instance the hive was located behind a sleeper wall. The bees had taken over an abondoned wasps' nest.
With the retaining wall out of the way there was no sign of comb. Time to start digging. Thankfully the bees showed us were to start.
Using a gentle brush and a dust pan we slowly exposed the hive. We're sometimes amazed at where we find bees making a home.
The capped honey comb cells had that nice dirt covering. Their new home would have to be an improvement. At least their working conditions are better.
The hive had metal and rubbish through it from a time when the retaining wall builders believed the wall would never be moved. The bees simply worked their way around it all.
It's funny what you sometimes find embedded in the comb. The bees will find a way to make it work. This snail's shell became a part of the comb.
Around the outside of this hive the bees used propolis, a mixture of collected resin and honey, to keep the walls from caving in. They also use it to fill small gaps. The owners informed us that they'd had wasps in this location years earlier. In a reversal of the norm, the bees moved in after the wasps moved out.
You know you haven't had a full day until you've taken the opportunity to play in the dirt.
With the beehive removed and the bees sitting in their new home it was a long night. As we were packing up the inevitable happened and the propolis cavern caved in. A poetic end to a location which had held the bees for seven years.
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