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I am about to embark on a new adventure!   I have long wanted a beehive and my children have been following the development of the Flow Hive since the beginning.  So....we have been gearing up for the big purchase.  I made contact with a man I know in Buderim who said he could supply a nuc for us once we got the hive and got sorted.

In the meantime, bees have shown up at work!!!   I work in a retirement village and a swarm of bees have made quite the colony for themselves on the balcony of a lady who was away for several weeks and didn't know anything about it. Both she and the manager are keen to move these bees on. In fact these bees were sprayed 3 times before I heard about their existence but somehow I think most of the colony has survived and I suspect The Queen is still there.

I have been to see the bees 3 times now and each time I've lifted up the heavy canvas covering the chair on which they have made their hive without any terribly aggressive response. I'm assuming they're fairly mellow bees. ( probably famous last words haha)

SO on Sunday I sat down to the computer and before I went to the Flow Hive site I thought I'd check Gumtree and lo, ten minutes drive away, a lady whose marriage just broke up, was selling her new in box flow hive for $150 less than retail.   We hightailed it over to her house and purchased it, constructed it and I spent 5 hours painting it today.

I have a friend who is also a fairly new beekeeper  -he's been doing it about a year. We both would like to save my work bee's and it would be kind of fun to put them into my new hive. We have looked at numerous YouTube videos and read lots of information about how to cut out the combs put into frames with rubber bands etc. and transport them home. D Day is Sunday so wish me luck!  Feeling like I've jumped in the deep end but very happy.

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Hi all… I have been so busy this week and haven’t updated you on the hive rescue.  A friend who is a relatively new beekeeper as well as one of the maintenance men from work helped me smoke the bees, cut off comb and lace it into my frames on Sunday evening.  We were so fortunate that the bees were gentle, even though we worked into the dark to get them situated.  Each of the men got a couple of stings but I didn’t get a one!  Just when I was getting desperate that we hadn’t seen the queen she clambered onto my hand and I put her in the box.  The pic below is the first comb we got (upside down!), the others were smaller - two per frame.

We left the box in place for 48 hours and then picked them up and brought them home. I confined them for 24 hours and finally set them on the hive stand last night, put a bunch of twigs etc on the landing board so that they were forced to reorient when they left for work this morning and now they are busy, well, as bees! And they look quite settled.  The resident whose balcony they were on has contacted me to say that a remnant is hovering around at her place so I am going to pop up and see if I can collect them tonight.

Will keep you all informed after I inspect the hive and take the time to adjust the foundationless frames if necessary – we were in such a rush at the end, some are likely to need straightening up.  Given that the bees had been sprayed THREE times by people who thought they were wasps they are doing great although numbers may be lower than desired.  I may need to buy some extras but I don’t know yet.

It could have been very difficult and painful (thanks Roge for your concern and good advice!!) all in all I think I have been well and truly blessed!  Thanks everyone for your interest!

Well done Cathie and friends! Don't worry about buying more bees, your Queen will soon make up for the losses. Wonderful that you've met her in person. Her way of saying 'thanks'!

I'd leave them be while they seem settled and busy. They will fill in the frames if they have a mind to although the comb they have made is their natural inclination. Any new frames you put in the brood chamber or the super can be with foundation. Foundation makes the frames more able to be spun for extraction.

that is some comb!

That is an exceptional job, especially seeing as you are new at keeping bees. Well done!! Saved the bees and got yourself some friendly workers for your new hive.

That's so exciting!

So cool, Cathie! Beekeeping is a marvellous hobby. So much to learn and have fun doing it. If you can join a Beekeeping club - if there's one local to you. Otherwise go to a field day or similar. Gatton Ag college used to run them as did Guilfoyle's Beekeeping supplies. Although 'used to' might be the operative phrase ;-) I've lost touch with the honeybee world.

See the shape of the comb the bees have constructed? That is their own natural inclination. It is that principal that the various 'natural' hive designs follow: top bar and others related. However much I admire the flow hive people and their dedication, their design is more akin to the Langstroth hive which is more for Beekeeper convenience than the bees own needs. I know we won't agree on this ;-)

A bee brush and a smoker will make it more simple to gather all the girls and especially the Queen; nothing happens in a hive without the Queen.

Ooooh excitement!! Let us know how it goes Cathie. The moons align for you.

My hive was picked up last night by a wonderful fella called Matt and his son. They now live on the south side of Brisbane.

Thanks for sharing that photo of the swarm on the cane chair, it is truly amazing and it was mean't for you. Your family has increased to thousands now. Have fun and get a front row seat and just watch the activity.
So excited for you Cathie. Hope all goes well!!

Whoa Kathy, you need to be careful with this. The bees have obviously been there for some time. I am not experienced in taking hives like this but the way I would approach it would be to remove (cut) all the comb which will be fixed at the top of the comb and try to remove it as 1 piece, then wedge it into a bee box between several other frames with foundation fixed and leave the bee box on top of the chair for a few days. Hopefully the bees will go to where the queen/comb is and settle into the box so that you can remove it a few days later (at night when the bees are all home). I think these bees will get very angry when you try to remove them.   

Use loads of smoke and protective gear or you could have a very painful experience. I have a spare bee box you can borrow if you need one. I am up in Rocky at the moment but will be back on Thursday.

You have been busy Cathie. So pleased you have your Bees settled in now. It will be so great to watch the graduation from the beginning to the end, Honey for Breakfast. Good Luck in your New Hobby, Enjoy!!!

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