SoCal Beekeeping

Picking up some bees
P. Michael Henderson

A while back, Amanda had contacted me about some bees that had set up residence in her shed.  Another person had volunteered to do a cutout for her so I backed off.

Apparently, however, the other person did the cutout in the middle of the day, while the foragers were out of the hive.  When they returned, the found the hive gone and just congregated in the shed.  Amanda texted me a few days later and reported that there were a lot of bees in her shed.  I said I'd come over and collect them.

I brought a bee suit for Amanda and instructed her in how to vacuum the bees with the bee vacuum.  She was a natural.

I did a short video of Amanda vacuuming the bees.

When we finished, I took this picture of Amanda in the bee suit.

I was pretty sure that there was no queen in Amanda's group of bees.  If there was a queen, the bees would have been clustered around her, but they were just spread out over the wall.  I took the bees to Elizabeth's place and merged them with Elizabeth's hive (using a sheet of newspaper between the groups of bees).  I also took the opportunity to go through Elizabeth's hive and found that there were lots of capped brood.  Her hive had swarmed earlier in the year and it looks like the new queen is active and laying.  The additional bees will help Elizabeth's hive to grow.

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6/28/2019 I went over to Elizabeth's place today to check on the bees.  The had chewed a hole in the newspaper and migrated down into the main part of the hive.  I don't know how many bees we captured but Elizabeth's hive now has that many more workers.  Elizabeth's hive had swarmed and the population left in the hive was down.  They're building up but probably won't have any excess honey until late in the season.