We discovered some methods that DON’T work for relocating them: spraying water and tapping on the lid. Both of these activities just make the bees angry…very angry…Learn from our mistakes and don’t even try these options.
So, when I saw several bees loitering around the lid of the compost recently, I knew instantly what was going on and what not to do.
He arrived ready to start the process. Donning jacket (with head-gear) and gloves, he lifted the lid. While it seemed like there were thousands and thousands of bees, Tom assured me that it was a smallish swarm. He set up the nuc (short for nucleus, not nuclear) and tapped the composter lid over the frames. Tom had a pre-used frame (dark brown) in the nuc to attract the bees into the box.
Tom set the nuc on top of the composter and indicated how the bees were marching into the box to their queen–evidently she has an attractive pheromone that is a siren’s call to her bees. It was truly amazing to see the swarm enter the box in almost orderly fashion!
Equally amazing was the amount of honeycomb that had been created within 24 hours time. These bees are dedicated and hard workers! Incidentally, there was some honey in the comb already–tasty!
Later that night, Tom came back and checked the composter for straggler bees–there were none. All were in the box with their queen–buzzing contentedly. He carried the nuc off into the night to be relocated to a happy hive.
If you’re in the Santa Barbara area and need bee relocation services, please contact the SBBA. They will come out and help you. I was happy to donate to their worthy cause in exchange for their valuable services.
It must be springtime in Santa Barbara!
What’s it doing where you’re at? And, have you had a bee experience? Let’s hear all about it!