large ferel hive, no brood
Got a call few weeks back about a bunch of bees living in some guys atticspace. Went to check it out with another beek friend of mine. This guy had a semi-finished attic space and didn't mind us pulling out the osb to reach the bees. It looked pretty easy....snicker, ha, ha.
Looked like they were coming in and would be in the vertical wall, sounded like they were, too. After opening a couple wall boards, no, they were in the vertical portion, the actual roof. Spent three hours getting to them, and experienced my first honey shower. I was having fun, but the owner's wife probably got pretty upset with the honey/wax mess on the floor and on us.
We did our best to keep it as clean as possible, but it was difficult. Probably took out 60 lbs of honey/wax, what didn't drip on us. Vaccummed (thanks, Matthew Westall...it works great!!!) about 5 lbs of bees. However, absolutely no closed brood. However, lots of drone brood, and not a good pattern. No queen visualized, obviously.
Strange how there was so much in stores this late in the season, and absolutely no open or closed brood, just drone. Ok, a laying worker. But after all winter, lots of bees/comb. Hmmm. We had such high hopes after seeing so many honeybees in this colony.
Learned one thing. Will probably forgo those house/roof extractions, esp. if they are in overhead ceilings!
I have seen that happen (no queen) when the home owners have tried using pesticides before I got there to remove the bees. Sometimes people react on their own before they call anyone else and spray away.
I would just give the bees a frame of eggs from one of your other hives. I definitely would have been nice to get the queen, but the bees and come are worth something too, not to mention the honey! I just hope you didn't do the cutout for free! The bees and honey should be the bonus -- because you never know what you're getting!
Thanks Rebel and Just.
Yes, it was for free. But I'm new at all this. My friend helped me with some bees in a church belltower the prior week, this was supposed to be for him as he'd lost a few bees.
We got a lot of bees for him, and he added it to a weak hive. The honey/comb he plans on double boiling.
Nah...that wasn't for free. Sounds like you really paid for it
> The honey/comb he plans on double boiling.
I'm lost on why he would do this.
Heating it once above 150 degrees will destroy the enzymes, phenolics and flavonoids etc which are the benefits of honey. It will also raise the HMF(Hydroxymethylfurfural) which is what fructose breaks down into from long storage and heat.
High HMF levels are supposedly bad for both man and bees. Europe tests for HMF and won't let it be sold above a certain level.
people use a double boiler to render the wax down so that it can be sold most people do not boil the honey.
> ...most people do not boil the honey.
I interpreted 'honey/comb' in the post as 'honey and comb together' in order to separate the honey and the wax. A simpler one step process indeed, but not conducive to quality honey.
> ...so much in stores this late in the season, and
> absolutely no open or closed brood, just drone. Ok,
> a laying worker. But after all winter, lots of bees/comb.
If there was new comb and/or recently capped honey combs then that sounds like a post-swarm nest.
Three weeks of brood hatching out means a strong population but no brood, a new queen not yet laying, and drone comb with a week of hatching still ahead.
> We got a lot of bees for him, and he added it to a weak hive.
There may have been a new queen amongst them.