Finally Moving The Slump Block Bees
|Bees in the slump blocks|
We didn't understand why the bees would select such an odd place and actually such a vulnerable place to settle down. We also didn't want them to stay there, because of all the yardwork we do and the likelihood of constant disruption to their works.
Building The Hive
|Bee hive number one|
|March 8 2015 Swarm|
We weren't expecting it to happen so soon. It went very well and the bees seem to be happy with the new digs once they got to work.
So, the new swarm bees got the house intended for the slump block bees, and we really don't know if it was a split from the slump block bees or not. A mystery never to be solved.
|Beehive number two|
Prepping For Moving Day
We had some work to do before the big moving day. We needed to elevate the hive above the planting ground by setting them on top of four cement blocks that were set at the same height as the retaining wall. This required digging up some soil, tamping down and compacting the soil, then adding soil around and into the centers of the blocks to keep them 'planted' firmly in place. The new bee hive was set on top of those, and then we started the move.
|We started up the smoker|
Now, if you want to know the truth about what is easier, catching a swarm or moving a hive, the answer is a swarm is significantly easier and cleaner than moving an established hive. Catching a swarm is also a lot less dangerous than moving an established hive. We were prepared, we got the stuff together and the smoker started and it was still nuts.
We had a large bowl to catch the comb, we had the pry bar to
We have our bee suits and gloves on and knocked on the neighbour's door to let them know we were going to be upsetting the bees. Since there was no answer, we were feeling pretty safe to get started.
|Slump block hive cap|
We were very surprised by how small the original hive was. It wasn't all that wide, but it did run deeply down three sets of slump block caverns.
The hive was only three combs wide, as evidenced by the tops of the combs that were pulled off with the decorative block cap. Obviously doing well and loaded with tons of honey.
We pulled off the second brick and saw that the combs were quite
|Slump block hive, layer two|
|Slump block comb|
|Variety of bee larvae growth stages in some cells.|
We also discovered there were several geckos staking out the soil just around the slump blocks and are certain they were picking off little bees at any opportunity.
I guess the bees didn't mind it too terribly much since they continued building and living in the hive.
|New hive on left, old hive on right. Both shaded.|