Received a call from the office staff at my local Shinnyo-en Temple (Los Angeles/Yorba Linda) of bees having decided to move into an irrigation box near the Saito Homa field. Because the landscaper needed to adjust settings in the box, these bees needed to be relocated.
Used minimal smoke and cleared brush around the box. Removing the lid caused 5 of the combs to disconnect as they were attached to the sides of the ground box walls.
Placed the lid over the emptied cardboard nuc while deciding which set to move first. Cut the largest combs to the smallest from the lid first, since those were primarily honey and pollen stores. All combs maintained in order-of-removal when transferred to the deep frames with rubber bands to secure the combs in-place.
Then proceeded with the ground box combs – several were ensnared in the irrigation wiring requiring delicate tearing to maintain primary comb integrity during removal. Once the largest comb segments were removed, remaining smaller combs were attached to the empty spaces remaining on the occupied deeps. Order of combs still maintained.
Wax scraped from lid and box and vinegar sprayed to prevent immediate return (the Temple uses only distilled vinegar to clean surfaces, so it turned out to be a convenient source). Remaining nurse bees in the ground box were transferred by the handful to the nuc, while I watched the ones on the ground marching into the nuc box through the front hole (indicating presence of the queen.)
Total effort about 90 minutes for a 14 x 9 hive of approximately 30,000 bees. Temperment was pretty mellow – while they did swarm around, I didn’t witness any dive-bombing or attack behavior during the cut-out. Keeping the bees on the comb during transfer helped a lot to keep the overall hive calm. Each time a frame was filled it went back into the box with the cover to keep sunlight to a minimum.
- 2012-July Shinnyo-en Buddhism Monthly Focus Podcast – Living Boddhisattvas / Embracement (jhlui1.wordpress.com)