Last week, when we opened the first (smaller) panel, this was what we saw — lots of what we would normally consider beautiful honey were it not sitting on top of the sheet rock ceiling of a dining room.
Now that it’s in jars, we think it’s beautiful again, but extracting honey from natural comb takes a lot more work and clean-up than extracting it from frames. The removal process left us with more bees in the tote than we are used to, making extracting just a little more “fun” and sweaty in a bee suit!
One of the things that the client had told us about the previous removal was that lots of honey ended up tracked into carpets and down stairs. We therefore starting by putting Kleen Kover Carpet Film down to protect everything. It is a very durable product that survived countless trips up and down the stairs and was easily removable when the job was done. It took both of us working together to put it down because it’s a lot like a 24 inch wide roll of packing tape. I’m now thinking about using it in the back of my car because the dog managed to bypass the Weathertech floor mat on our last trip and barf in my speaker and on the 2 inches of carpet that was still visible!
As I also explained in the last blog, we installed window screen over the opening into the bay between the floor joists to block entry and then covered that with plywood and insulation. It took us a day or two to find the camera, so this picture didn’t make it into the first blog. Most of the pictures on my phone were completely out of focus — it’s hard to take pictures while wearing honey-coated bee gloves!
We also placed screen over the fascia board on the outside. Despite all that hubby read, watched, and talked to other bee-keepers about, the foragers did not just leave that evening like they were supposed to! We brought two full NUCs of bees home with us and left another NUC with brood on site, but only a few of the foragers moved into the NUC – the rest huddled in a confused ball on the side of the house! It took us another 3 days to get them to leave! We’ll look through the NUCs tomorrow morning to see just where the queen is. The non-stubborn bees were mainly pagenting into the same NUC, so I’ll start there.
Summer break is off to a good start with new bees and a new and successful experience. I’ll go check on the country-bees next week and sit outside and watch the stars come out in the evenings.