Collecting my first swarm of bees

It all happened very quickly, but on Sunday three weeks ago, I drove with Lyndon (Melbourne’s very own Urban Beekeeper) to Flemington and helped with the removal of a swarm from a compost bin.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photo’s as I was carried away with the swarm removal process.  It was actually surprisingly easy, we donned on our Bee Suits, so that we looked the part and then removed the tiny bit of comb the bees had made, putting it into my hive.

Then we vacuumed up the bees with Lyndon’s specially made vacuum device.  Those 200 bees or so were deposited straight into my hive (previously sealed up so none of the bees could escape).

We then securely taped the hive down and loaded it into the back of my car.

Lyndon left me with instructions of what I would need to do, which I am writing here to remember on future occasions:

  1. The hive should be sited in a protected spot, but not under a tree with overhanging branches (dampness is a real problem for bees)
  2. Ensure the hive tilts slightly towards the entrance so moisture/water can drain out easily
  3. Prepare a 50:50 mix of honey to water solution in a zip locked plastic bag.  6-8 pin prick should made into the upper most side only (clearly mark UP so you know which way to place on top of the frames in i.e. the pin pricked holes should be facing up not down).
  4. Open the hive, and shake any bees in the lid to the bottom of the hive, then place the lid by the entrance of the hive and quickly remove the comb (shaking off any bees on the comb) then swiftly put in the missing frames and close the lid.

That was it. After a bit of sweat I was able to sit back and admire the hive.

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