On Saturday, Wheat and I helped our good friends Lee and Ben move a colony of bees out of the wall of a tenant house on their family farm into a hive box. It was only our second hive removal (the first on our own), so we were pretty grateful it turned out much better than expected!
The hive was in the wall of this very old tenant house. They were using this knot hole as an entrance. Lee and Ben wanted to remove them and put them into a hive box to begin keeping bees, so Wheat and I offered to help them do it. It was just as exciting as last time!
There were a LOT of bees in there! This colony was pretty well established, and had quite the stock of honey. We took a group picture when Keri, Ben’s wife, stopped by, then got started on the removal.
We cut the comb piece by piece and used large rubber bands to fill empty frames with the pieces of comb. It just so happened that Ben had a hefty supply of the huge rubber bands they use on the farm to bundle collards. :) We shook as many bees into the box of frames as possible, and even managed to find the queen bee and seal her into the bottom box! It really went as well as it possibly could have.
The honey comb was really beautiful, so we cut the prettiest pieces and put them in jars whole. Then we simply squeezed comb with our (clean) hands over the jars until they were full. Then we strained all that was left in the bucket (a good bit) through a clean cloth and into a bowl to finish it off.
It was a messy, sticky, not so pretty process, as evidenced by the tailgate pictures, but the honey was perfect and delicious and no one minded a bit. It was a family affair. And the honey was finger-licking good.We got all the jars cleaned up and divvy’d up. It was pretty unbelievable that even with stocking the hive with 20 frames of comb, we still got all this honey. The honey itself was light in color with a lot of floral notes.
We got a couple bit of pollen in some of the comb, but we decided to leave it. After all, it can’t do much but help even more with allergies! I also fell in love with the dish towel Nikki serendipitously had out on her counter. #beesonbees
We had a blast helping them with this hive removal and were lucky enough to take a jar of the honey home. It was a good day spent with friends, and I love that we have two more buddies who are as excited about bees as we are.
You may also bee interested in: