Removal of a colony from a compost bin in Criccieth

This colony in a conical 'Dalek' type compost bin was reported on 21 November 2014. The owner's gardener had unscrewed and lifted the lid only to be buzzed by angry bees. He dropped it and ran away.

As it was in a sheltered spot in a good enclosure, and not troubling anyone, we decided to leave it until the following spring to see if it would survive. It did, and by 11 April 2015 it had a palm-of-hand sized patch of brood of all ages on both sides of one comb, eggs, a queen, pollen patches, a small amount of capped honey from the previous season and a couple of hundred bees. A rescue was therefore attempted.

The bin lid came off easily without damaging the nest attached to the lid. The previous intrusion appears to have dislodged several combs which were lying mouldy on the compost below. The attachment points of the dislodged combs show in the following photo.

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Below: the nest with its bees.

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Below: package bees ready for transporting to an apiary.

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Below: the colony, honey and pollen comb has been transferred to a 3-frame nucleus box by fixing the combs into frames with rubber bands.

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David Heaf's bee index

David Heaf's bee removals index