Stairway to Honey

A Home Under The Stairs

image45

This hive definately made it hard to gain access to their world.  With a double brick barrier you would think we would not be able to access them.

Brick Removal

image46

Having building experience often gives us the skills to pull something apart in a way that allows for it to be put together again. This meant we were able to remove the brick barrier to gain access to the hive.

Setting Up

image47

Having an ordered work area is key to preforming a successful cutout with minimal disruption to the bees.

A Tight Space

image48

In this instance we had less than thirty centimeters of wiggle room to get into the hive. A day laying on our stomach was ahead of us.

Non Trap-Out

image49

A previous beekeeper did attempt to trap the bees out. They blocked as many access points as possible however in this home there were too many access points to find them all. Miss just one and the trap-out will fail.

Trimming the Comb

image50

Slowly we worked at removing the comb from the hive.

A Beautiful Couple

image51

So often as we relocate the bees we see beautiful sights. If we're lucky we even have time to photograph the event. This image of two bees eating honey from a cutout knife was too cute to miss out on.

Moving Deeper

image52

We are now looking one meter into the hive and it is still going. Laying on our stomach in such narrow quarters can leave us exposed however working calmly and slowly reduces the stress on the bees and they are less likely to attack as long as you follow all the other safety mesures as well.

Almost There... Well Sort Of

image53

One and a half meters under the stairs we finally reach the last piece of comb in this line. However there is still comb wrapped around the corner for us to remove. We're now half way through the relocation with the hardest work still ahead of us.

Queen On the Loose

image54

After six hours on our stomach the comb is finally all removed and it's time to capture the queen. Of course she has moved to the far wall to an area we simply cannot reach by hand. 

Queen Rejoins The Hive

image55

Sometimes when the queen is out of reach we can coax her onto a dust pan. In this case we had to make improvised handle extensions to reach the queen. With some effort she was captured and moved to the new hive box.

All Gone

image56

With the queen in the new hive the last of the bees joined her over the following few days.