Bee Removals and Swarms – 2017

Bee removal highlights for 2017  
(Past years (2016, etc) bee removals here )
(2018 bee removals here )

Removal 29:

1/3/2017 – First hive removal of the new year was from an inverted flower pot in the garden of a house located in Old Naples. The hive comb completely packed the small flower pot. I suspect the hive might have recently swarmed because of the tight space. I estimated that there were only a few thousand bees, but they were extremely gentle bees.

Flower pot outside surface before hive removal

Flower pot and most of the comb that was in the pot already removed to a brood box

Click on any picture for a larger view
   

 

Removal 30:

1/25/2017 and 1/27/2017 – We removed hives from two water meter boxes located in the irrigation pump area of a local church.  Because of limitations of equipment, we could only do one hive removal at a time.  Each hive had packed the ground meter box with comb and bees  — probably 8K plus bees each.  In both cases, the bees were extremely gentle as the comb was cut out and placed into Langstroth frames.  If they survive relocation they will make good additions to our apiary.

 
Click on any picture for a larger view
   

 

Removal 31:

2/3/17 – We removed a very small hive from a water meter in North Naples. It resulted in only a couple frames of comb and those frames were placed in a nuc box in our apiary.

2/11/17 – Update – Our little nuc had a queen, so we decided to combine it with another very small hive that was queenless with no brood.  We used the newspaper method to combine the two nucs. The bees will chew from the joining paper in a day or two and should result in acceptance.

2/12-13/17 – Update – Sunday evening we noticed a huge ball of bees on the front porch.  This was far more bees that the small nucs had, so it was very suspicious that this was a swarm taking up residence.  They eventually all went into the hive.  Monday, we checked the paper and observed it eaten through so we removed it.  Later that morning, we saw the bees emerge, ball up on the entrance porch and LEAVE as we observed lots of waggle dancing.  The entire swarm of bees took off and flew a hundred feet away in a cloud.  After about 20 minutes of a cloud of bees hovering in one place, the entire swarm returned to the hive and eventually went inside.  Stay tuned for what they decide to do next !!

2/24/17 – Update – Our honey harvest done today from other hives in our apiary must have caused these bees to get agitated because they abandoned their location and the next day, they were totally gone.

 

The ball of bees that formed on the porch a day after combining two very small nucs, one queenless.

 

A second forming of a ball of bees on the porch the following day. After 30 minutes of observing lots of waggle dances they left only to all return a short time later.

Click on a picture for a larger view
 
   

Removal 32:

3/1/2017 – A small hive under the roof overhang of a house located off the Immokalee Road in North Naples was removed. They were very gentle bees.

7 combs on the roof overhang

After the removal

Click on any picture for a larger view

With all the comb having been placed in frames, the new hive brood box setup was moved in to our apiary. The bees will settle down after a day or so and see if we have a good queen.

 

Removal 33:

3/17/2017 – A medium size hive on a tree branch in Golden Gate Estates was removed. They were very gentle bees and their nice looking queen was captured.

Update: 3/19/2017 – After allowing the bees to settle down for a few days in their new NaplesBees apiary home, we released the queen from her cage and she immediately scampered down in to the frame comb.  We’ll feed them for a while with a 1:1 sugar syrup to stimulate.

Hive in tree.

Hive removed

Click on any picture for a larger view

Red arrow points to the queen captured.  Click on the picture to show the large view, and then you will be able to see the large abdomen bee…. that is the queen.

 

The bees in their new home in our apiary.

 

Removal 34:

3/24/2017 – A small hive located in a water meter near the street at a house in Riviera Colony was removed today.  There were only a few small combs, but the hive seemed gentle and healthy, and a good looking queen was captured toward the end of the removal.

Update – 3/31/2017 – Today’s inspection showed that the hive did not survive relocation to our apiary.  I believe there simply was not enough comb and resources despite being continuously fed sugar syrup.  This is one of the disadvantages of relocating very small hives.

Click on any picture for a larger view
 

 

Removal 35:

4/12/2017 – A good size hive hanging from a palm tree branch located in the Pine Ridge area of Naples was removed today.  The removed comb filled all 10 of the brood box frames.

The original hive location

Hive after about 50% of the comb has been removed

The hive as relocated in our apiary.

Click on a picture for a larger view

 

Removal 36:

4/19/2017 – A small hive was removed from a water meter box in south Naples.  At the very end of the removal, the queen was spotted and caged.  The hive was placed in our apiary but we are getting out of space for more saved bees.  After a short time we will probably take more of our hives down to the Naples airport.

   

 

Removal 37:

5/26/2017 – An attempt was made to remove a well established hive in a small house in East Naples. Until the hive entrance area was opened, we could not tell if the hive would be in the wall or the roof. It turned out the hive was in the roof rafters and extended up along the roof line. Without opening the roof surface, only comb within an arms reach length up the roof line could be reached and removed from the small soffit opening exposed.  This was an older hive that had been there for some time and had extensive comb built far up along the roof trusses.  Unfortunately, without a major destruction of the roof (which we can not do), this hive could not be totally removed live and probably will have to be exterminated if the owner wants to not have the bees reestablish.

   
 click on any picture for a larger view
 

 

 

Removal 38:

6/3/2017 – A backyard in East Naples had a small hive in a pile of concrete blocks.  We removed all the comb and vacuumed up all the bees after we spotted and caged the queen.

click on any picture for a larger view
 

 

Removal 39:

6/21/2017 – An abandoned hive located on a lot that was having the house torn down was removed to our apiary.  The bees were not happy with all the heavy equipment only a few feet away shaking the ground and making a deafening noise. The hive box was in pretty bad shape so it was strapped together and all the rotted wood openings were taped over prior to moving.  Once the bees get settled in their new location, they will be transferred to new brood and super boxes.

6/29/2017 update – After letting the hive sit on the ground in our apiary for a week so the bees could get settled, we opened the hive and moved all the frames to new boxes sitting on our apiary stand a few feet away.  The frames were in bad shape so we did the best we could in placing them in new brood and super boxes.  Hopefully the queen is OK, but because of the cross comb, etc, she was never spotted during this move. 

abandoned beehive

click on any picture for a larger view
 

 

Removal 40:

7/1/2017 – A small hive consisting of 3 saucer shaped combs were removed from a bicycle handle in a storage area.  This was an odd place for bees to build a hive, but it goes to show how adaptive bees can be.

   

 

Removal 41:

9/1/2017 – A small birdhouse had become occupied by bees.  We transported the complete birdhouse, gave the bees a few days to get calmed down in our apiary, then disassembled the birdhouse and mounted all the combs into frames of a deep brood box.