We received a call to remove a natural hive in Narrabundah after it was located by an Australia Day backyard cricket outfielder. The hive was very active and looks to have established from a nearby colony in the 2016 swarm season. Most interestingly, this hive contained no nectar stores and was likely to struggle through the coming winter.
The hive was located in a weeping cherry tree and was constructed with a series of perpendicular combs
A ten frame Langstroth hive was placed under the tree with empty frames ready to place the relocated comb into
After a small amount of smoke the outside comb of the hive revealed deposits of pollen
The combs were carefully cut away with a knife and then placed into Langstroth frames
Removal of the outside combs revealed combs filled with capped brood which were carefully removed
A large number of bees were moved with the combs
More brood was recovered from the larger centre combs
The trunk of the tree took on a polished appearance, and a small clump of sap was found built into the combs
The two final combs (outside) were removed leaving only minor traces of wax comb and the clump of sap
The comb was held into the frames with string/twine. As the queen had been moved into the hive box, the bees remaining on the tree walked down the trunk and into the box. The remaining wax was cleaned from the location to prevent the hive re-establishing on the old comb.
When all bees had moved inside the hive, the lid was installed and the bees quickly began utilising the front entrance of the hive (the comb was added into the hive behind the left entrance)
Lastly, the hive was moved to the ground and remained in place for 48 hours before being relocated after dark