Friday, May 22, 2015

No more Bee Box 5.21.15

This was our Bee Box. It was intended to be a squirrel box but a swarm moved in.

If you look close at the photo you can see the top of my bird feeder hanging on the cable.


Thursday afternoon we had a pretty good storm with hard rain….around 8pm I looked out and saw something on the ground….no bee box in the tree.

It was still windy and raining so we grabbed a hive bottom and 3 supers….I put frames in the bottom super and left the other two empty so we could put the comb in it.

We picked up all the comb and put it inside…it had fallen on it’s side and the comb was all squished together…lots of dead bees.

I stacked it with as much space between them as possible.

I put the front against the stand so they could climb up.

We had to use a piece of board for a cover since we didn’t have one.


This is the top.


There were a lot of bees still alive.


The next morning I made up 10 deep frames…took the box and frame hanger Jim made…the wheel barrow for the comb and box parts.


I used 3 pieces of string for each frame….


I cut and saved the best parts of the comb…tied it with string…


and hung them in the box Jim made. We use this for holding the frames when we are ready to take some honey…I get the bees off then he puts it inside and covers it so the bees don’t get back on them.


If the bees decide to stay they will attach the comb to the top of the frame and eventually remove all the string. I’ve seen them do it.024c

What is really confusing is ….how did it knock down the bird feeder?  There was seed all over the comb…and the bee box was under this cover.


I had the comb stacked inside these empty supers…If we had been prepared and it wasn’t raining we would have just put it in the frames.



I have no idea if there is a live Queen…I find it hard to believe she made it…

I put all the comb that was cut away and the ones too damaged to save in the wheel barrow for the bees to clean up.


Once the frames were done…we pulled the frames out of the bottom super…put the second one on and then put the frames with comb inside….7 frames…3 empty frames.

I put the super on top to let the bees climb down.

We left everything like that till later in the day so the bees could clean up.

I called my neighbor, George, to see if he still had some hive parts left…I needed an inner cover, a cover and another super. He brought them to us. Thanks George!!!


While I was removing frames and the empty super..Jim filled the bird feeder and hung it up. He had to make a few repairs first.


This morning there was a lot of activity around the hive…there was also a large clump of bees on the right end of the cart.


Suddenly it looked like they were in swarm mode and most went to the top of a tree….a few minutes later they came back and most went back to the same end of the cart.

It took several hours but they finally settled down …I think into the hive but not sure.

I suited up and removed the tray  (small hive beetle trap) to see how many bee bodies were in it….it was about half full of seed, bodies, hive beetles and larva and honey.

It is going to keep them busy cleaning up that comb.


Here is some of the comb that wasn’t saved.


lots of dead bees.




There was a lot of larva…I hope there is some that survived and they are able to use one to make a new Queen if she didn’t make it.

I was encouraged when they swarmed this morning…they grouped in the tree like any other swarm….it wasn’t long and they came back…so not sure.

I wasn’t interested in having a 3rd hive but we’ll be happy if they make it.

I have it on a wheeled cart so I can move it a little each day till we can put it on the hive stand.

Wish them luck.



  1. What a fine rescue of the fallen squirrel/bee box. You have the procedure down to a science. I found Jim's frame box very impressive and intend to make a copy for myself. I notice you wearing blue Nitrile gloves. Was that to keep your hands clean or do you find them sting proof? Loved the way you surgically tied the comb onto the frames. Didn't know the bees would remove the string. Most informative post. Thank you for sharing that, Carol!

    1. The bees swarmed again and then left....guess they found a better home. I use the blue gloves because they help pull the stinger out...I usually get stung while handling frames and can't put them down. I also swell up pretty bad from a sting. Used to work bare handed but these seem to help.


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