Monday, March 22, 2010

Big Bee Removal!!!

This weekend students of the Round Rock Honey Beekeeping Class removed a very large colony of bees from the ceiling of a home in south Austin.  Bee Removal is one of the major topics covered in the class; it teaches beekeepers how to find and secure free bees, and provides a valuable service to area homeowners who find themselves suddenly overrun with bees.

This bee removal was very difficult due to the size of the hive, and because the bees were extraordinarily aggressive.   Thanks to KEYE-TV, News8Austin, and the Austin American-Statesman, you can see for yourself what it was like.  Pictures and video links are here:

Even though this was a truly difficult bee removal, eventually all bees were captured, put into hive boxes, and placed in a bee yard in West Round Rock.

The The process of removing the bees started with cuting a hole in the wall right behind where the bees were noticed entering and exiting the wall.  When bees were not found there, a rectangular cut was made in the ceiling.  WIth the very first cut the bees came swarming out. It was clear the bees were not going to leave without putting up a fight.

After cutting out part of the ceiling, a vacuum was used to pull out the top layer of bees, which are usually the most aggressive ones.  The filter in the vacuum was removed so that the bees could be captured in the belly of the vacuum to be placed in a wooden hive box outside. (see below)

This is a section of brood from the heart of the hive.

By the end I was very tired!

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