Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, May 12, 2014


For a week or so.

I didn't mean to be gone so long but things have been happening around here.  Not really bad things....well if you don't count someone in the family losing their electronic car key, then borrowing someone else's and losing that one too before getting the first one replaced.  Let's just say a wrecker had to be called to tow the car to the dealer.

And then there were the bees.
We've had bees in our roof/wall at the homestead for a few years.  Lots of beekeepers wanted them but no one could get them out.  Until we found Al.  Al is a beekeeper/contractor who came to take the bees out of the house and put them in a hive.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  
We waited until the middle of April due to weather and blossoms opening.
Here's Al removing the shingles.  I'm glad I wasn't up on that roof.  It was high.  The stone house has old fashioned high ceilings and Al is up higher than you might think.
After he opened the roof, he found that the bees actually were in the rubble stone wall of the house.
He removed the comb first.
The dark comb is brood and pollen deposits for food around the edges.  The pollen is the yellow pockets toward the bottom.  Al had us taste it and it was sweet.  The whole family was up on the copper part of the roof with Al.  He handed us the comb as he removed it and we put the honeycomb in new 5-gallon buckets.
The new comb is the white comb on the right that B is holding.  The colony was fascinating.
Al vacuumed the bees using a vacuum with a filter and then he dumped the bees into a small hive.  He rated the colony medium sized but most of the bees were out foraging.  Al never put on a suit or gloves.  The bees were docile.
Here they are in the small hive at the back of the property.

Al removed the bees and sprayed the hive to keep any new colonies from setting up a home there until we could get the holes in the mortar sealed up.

As Al was getting ready to put the roof back together, he noticed the queen outside the hive on our roof.  He was excited and so were we.  He scooped her up in his hand and climbed down the ladder and deposited her in the hive.

A week later we opened the hive to check the feeder and the bees and we realized that the queen had probably been sprayed and had crawled out of the hole in the roof while we were relocating the hive.  By putting her back in with the colony, she killed the rest of the colony off.  It was kind of sad.

It's too late to order bees for this season but we're prepared for next year.  The bees were fascinating and we're excited to try again. 
At least they are out of our roof and I do have some comb to harvest honey from.


  1. how interesting so will you keep them ?

  2. It's nice to have you back, Bonnie!
    There are so many things to learn about bees. Amazing!

  3. My goodness this sounds like a pretty hairy situation, looks as though you had a professional on the job though so that is good. Sad about the colony, it is a shame that things didn't work out with them, but I hope that you can try again next year and that you will enjoy the honey in the meantime. Lovely to hear from you Bonnie. xx

  4. Awww. That IS sad. Poor Queen. But, it is amazing that the whole hive could be disturbed and moved and no one was stung. Good Luck next year!

  5. What an interesting story. I'm sorry you had a sad ending to it though. I hope next year is a success story through and through.

  6. What an amazing experience with the bees! Sorry there was a sad ending. I will bee happy to see some recipes with their honey:) Good to see you again, Bonnie. I have been lazy about blog visits lately, so I am glad I haven't missed any of your recent posts.

  7. Well,
    you've certainly had some excitement around there.
    Sad about the bees.
    Glad that they are out of your roof though.

    Hope this week is a good one for you.

    Smiles :)

  8. Sorry about the queen bee. I bet it is nice to have them out of your roof. After tasting good honey last year )a gift from someone for Christmas, I am tempted to begin beekeeping. The stuff at Wal-Mart is not good.