Swarm in eaves (Garndolbenmaen)

The swarm was removed the day after entry into the eaves of a single storey structure; access was easy due to the adjacent raised ground. Less than a palm-sized piece of comb had been built in the eaves. There was a layer of wax moth coccoons and organic debris on the soffit board indicating possible previous occupancy by a small bee nest. Marks on the roofing felt above suggested the same.

Below: the site showing the bee vac.

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Below: the bees were entering round the edge of the soffit board

garn_entrance.jpg (49539 bytes)

Below: the swarm before vacuming

garn_before_vac.jpg (91668 bytes)

Below: the swarm after first vacuuming session

garn_after_first_vac.jpg (65590 bytes)

The swarm behaved queen-right in the bee vac, i.e. bees orientated around its vents when the vac was not running. Also, bees were attracted to the exhaust of the fan unit (domestic vacuum cleaner). After a few vacuuming sessions bees were running frantically around in the cavity, obviously having already sensed the loss of their queen.

Below: the swarm was removed to an apiary 7km from its 'home', and left overnight in the bee vac with the inlet opened

garn_swarm_ in_bee_vac.jpg (74771 bytes)

Below: closeup of the swarm in the bee vac

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The following day, bees were orietating at the bee vac inlet, further indicating queen-rightness. The swarm was shaken from the vac into a cardboard box for giving to a beekeeper.

Below left: just after shaking into the box bees that took to the air are entering the entrance hole
Below right: almost all bees have entered the cardboard box -- three palm-of-hand sized combs were built in the bee vac

garn_swarm_just_after_boxing.jpg (78629 bytes) garn_swarm_boxed.jpg (86049 bytes)

Below: there were seven dead bees in the bee vac base. The vac was weighed before and after emptying of bees. The swarm weighed 1.65 kg indicating that very roughly 16,500 bees were in it. This makes a casualty rate of 0.04%.

garn_low_casualties.jpg (78104 bytes)



David Heaf's bee removals index

David Heaf's beekeeping index