I was recently alerted to an underground honey bee movement that has apparently been going on for a number of years in the suburb of Watson, Canberra.
The underground movement appeared to have moved into a tree hollow that had previously been created by termites who post enjoying their meal had vacated the site allowing the honey bees to then move in.
The honey bees needed to be move all of the mud that the termites had created but interestingly enough them continued on down the tree hollow to more than 30 centimetres underground thereby being the first bees that I have seen living truly underground.
Tree hollow (knee height)
Looking down inside the mouth of the tree hollow
At the base of the tree hollow (note: the bees and the honeycomb)
The bees headed north post being smoked and after the chainsaw made a few surgical cuts through old tree roots)
The front view of the colony inside the tree hollow, noting all honey reserves above ground were stored capped honey much as you would find in an super
Another view with a preview to the underground chamber
Yet another view showing the size of the underground chamber
Lyall, ‘aka B2’, boldly reaching into the underground body of the hive to remove comb with brood
B2, again, this time with the hive super (tree trunk) post its chainsaw removal
Underground bee movement moved above ground in their temp lodgings
The great news was when Lyall then spotted the queen with he eagle eyes.
Almost Jedi like, there was some suggestion he mentally willed the queen from the underground colony after explaining to her, through interpretive dance, that he had a new hive for her and her daughters to move into that was above ground, clean and dry and better suited for her colony.
I’ll keep you posted on how this all works out.