This will be our first extraction of the new year. I will be taking photos and videos and hope to post the good stuff for everyone to see. Our extraction will be in Marin County, in Mill Valley. I must say I definitely approve of the view the girls have…it’s quite spectacular to say the least. Point being, the homeowners don’t want the honeybees in their beautiful house anymore.
Seems during some work last summer the old space between floors was reopened for a new colony of honeybees to move in and make themselves right at home! With great forage all around and the mild climate of Mill Valley, I can understand why they like the place. The contractor has decided to remove the hardwood floor from above rather than damage the old lattice plaster ceiling from below.
Jackie and I will be going down late in the afternoon to start the extraction. The contractor will have had several days in advance to prepare the area. As the floor is removed the bees will be gently suctioned into a screened box for transportation back to our apiary. Once the bees have been removed we will cut out all the comb and bind it into frames to be inserted into a bee box.
Once all this is done we will depart and take the entire colony to be placed in one of our apiary. The contractor will clean and wash the entire area in which the bees lived. Then he will paint the area to cover the “bee scent” and finally fill the empty space and fill the opening to prevent more bees from moving in on some future date.
This part is very important and almost half of our extraction sites fail to do the necessary steps to prevent future recolonization. Cleaning, painting and filling the hole!
The whole process can take from as little as 1 hour to almost 2 days! Every extraction is different and this one will be no different I hope. I always learn and am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of the honeybee.
I will be posting more on the whole process so keep watch!
Today Jackie and I began collecting the equipment for the work on Sunday. Got the cords, vacuum, boxes, suits, bee bucket, double checked the other tools we will need.
We loaded it up and fed some pollen patties to the bees in the yard…like seeing them bringing in the pollen so early! Right now it’s white and yellow…probably eucalyptus and wild mustard would be my guess. The patties are always eaten within a day or two at the most…they love the extra nutrients and trace minerals that are in the mix…and we add our own honey.
I will be photographing the equipment and giving explanations next.