The bees are definitely waking up and working like crazy. And now the calls are coming in after a couple of months of winter. I planned on following up a call from a couple of months ago. Someone had called about a neighbor's bees in a shed and I was going to check it out Sun. Then I saw a Craigslist offer for "free bees" and emailed Kat who said someone had already claimed them. Bummer. She started to tell me the story and lo and behold, these were the same bees!
She wanted to keep them but thought they would be better off in a location with sympathetic neighbors. Ryan wanted the bees as his first hive and was already planning on going to the backwards beekeeping meeting this weekend!
So I came along to help with the cut out. It looked like a small hive attached to a table leaning against the shed wall. When Ryan turned the table around, boy, did it look big! Kat and Ryan posed for a quick pic before we started the cutout. The bees had started building up with lots of nectar being stored and a fair amount of new brood. It looked like all capped workers. Maybe one drone cell.
When we were done it was wonderful to see the bees marching into the hive like it was always home. Ryan came back at night and all the bees (we think) were inside. We checked them out the next day and there were lots of bees and each frame was covered with bees. They looked great in their new location.
FYI, Kat is an insect wrangler for film but had never worked with honey bees. She suggested that we check out the Lorquin Entomological Society, which has a meeting later this month.
P.S. Here are some videos of during the cutout.
Wrangling the Bees into the Hive:
Setting up the Hive for the Bees to Return to: