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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wild Hive Capture: Charleston IL

This afternoon Dick Loy and I met up with Craig Clendening of Lerna and drove to a farm in rural Charleston to capture a wild beehive in an old brick farmhouse slated for demolition.  We met up with the farmer, Paul, who explained how the house was built around 1865 and had been in his family for years.  He believed the bees had been in that part of the house for 30 years.  The house had a double brick wall construction, and last Fall when he started initial demolition work he discovered a large hive between the brick walls.  Today we found a large hive with tunnels throughout the comb as well as tunnels through the rotting mortar.  While we found brood, I don't think we found the main brood chamber, but we didn't trust the old walls enough to knock out more brick.  We quickly wired up the brood comb and some of the honey comb to empty frames and placed in the brood box, then we vacuumed up as many bees as possible.  Dick and I then transported the hive to the bee yard and dumped in the vacuumed bees after dark.  I don't think we got the Queen, so I plan to go up later this week to check them over and order a Queen if needed.

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