Per the previous blog post we scheduled this second story soffit bee relocation this past Saturday. We got there nice and early and started by metering the bees, then set up all our equipment including a tall ladder and a safety rope and harness kit since we’ll be working high up.
No cutting involved, just pulling off two pieces of edging and then a piece of wood. It took longer than expected when prying off the piece of wood due to the amount of nails the previous homeowner, who built the house, put to holdup the quarter circle edging, and because working so high up, you cannot use excess force or you risk falling down two stories! Below is the hive exposed. Check out the thermal image above. It read the heat from the brood area confirmed in the below picture. Everything else above is capped honey. A pretty good sized hive that is out of room to expand.
Here’s a picture of me working off of the ladder with the safety harness. Not fun working up this high with bees. One mistake and I could be hanging on the safety rope or falling straight down. Peaked roof too!
Honey was not raining but pouring on me. My entire suit was soaked and the honey went through the suit, my hair was so stick but good thing it washes off easily. I couldn’t move out of the way standing on the ladder so it made the situation worse. The bees were pretty aggressive and I got two stings, then the smoker was lit but still didn’t calm them down that much. We beevac’ed most of the bees before we started cutting the combs.
My dad up on the ladder with the bee vac removing some bees while I took a break from standing up there for a few hours. I didn’t recommend him climb that high up but he always wants to get into the action.
We removed it all. We were able to rubberband 14 frames of brood in medium frames and brought home a good load of honey which we’ll be feeding most of it back to the bees. Paul and the family got about 6 pounds of fresh comb honey. You see that cluster at the entrance, there was another cluster inside as well. My guess was the queen was right in the middle of it.
And I was right. I vacuumed some bees away, then applied Bee Quick and the bees started to run including the queen herself. Had to use a knife to block her from crawling into a crack, drove her out, and caged her.
Thanks Vivien, Paul, and kids for calling us to save our local honeybees!