Friday, June 7, 2013

"I Love Trash..."

I think that most of us probably remember this...

Well, this past week I met some bees who also love trash. Got a call from a woman who had been away for 2 weeks and returned home to find some bees living in her trash can. This is what I found when I arrived...

Bees attached comb to trash can lid

Well, I'll be! I guess the bees don't care too much about where they make their home! You can see the trash bag in the can, the can was practically full of trash and the bees had very little space. But that didn't stop them from settling in. Makes me laugh when I think about how people will argue over which kind of bee hive is best for the bees - Langstroth hive, Top Bar hive, Warre hive, Golden Mean hive - well, I think I'm gonna start marketing the "Rubbermaid Trash Can Hive" (comes with trash)!
I decided that instead of doing the removal in this little courtyard, I would take the entire trash can lid, comb and all, and bring it to one of my apiaries so that I could relax and take my time and set the hive up immediately. Here's how I transported the lid (what else would I use in this case, but a trash bag)...

The second part of the video shows me placing a nuc on top of the trash can in order to collect all of the foragers that were out working when I relocated their home. I went back the following night and collected the nuc. It worked beautifully.

I brought the bees to my apiary in Francisville where I had an empty hive looking for some new bees. I turned the lid upside down and started to gently remove the fragile comb.

Most of the comb removed

My work station, on top of an empty top bar hive

Placing comb in the hive

My queen luck has been very good lately and that trend continued. I was able to find and cage the queen in this hair clip style queen cage. There are a few workers in with her. Caging the queen helps to ensure that the bees won't up and leave their new home. I will leave her in the cage for a day or two and then let her out so she can get to work.

Queen at the bottom, the one with long slender abdomen

Queen cage is under that mass of bees

Here I moved the queen cage down in between the frames

So that was basically it. I closed up the bees and left them alone. That was the quickest and easiest removal job I have ever done! I'm lovin' it!


  1. So, this is now the "Oscar the Grouch" hive!?

    1. Absolutely! I just entered it into my Hive Tracks account with that name!

  2. Thanks for sharing this video. I am really enjoying subscribing to your blog. Was kind of surprised by the pan over to the baby sitting there...!

    1. Yeah, little Zoe watched the whole thing. She was unimpressed, more interested in her crackers!