Rescuing a Colony

Sometimes a swarm will land in a strange place and needs to be moved.

Griffin had a chance to move a colony from an old trunk to his own hive.

Griffin & Dad lighting smoker
Griffin's Dad just couldn't resist helping him light the smoker.
They were not sure if the bees would be upset when the trunk was popped open.
Opening the trunk
This is the big moment. They were hoping it would be a great colony and the comb wouldn't all fall into the trunk when it was finally opened.

Griffin gave the bees a puff of smoke and then peeked at the bees.
  trunk lid propped open
The comb was not neatly hung and some broke.
Griffen used a small metal pan as a prop to
hold the trunk open while he removed the first
pieces.The bit of blue you see
is a bag of cat
litter product used to keep litter boxes dry.
It had been stored in the trunk by the owner.
Actually it seems to have helped the colony by
keeping the naturally accumulation of
moisture down.

The first piece of comb he cut out was quite large. In the background you can see the frames with rubber bands ready for Griffin to slide this comb into.
placing the combs
First he laid the comb on the
prepared frames to measure and
cut it to size. Then he slipped
the comb between the rubberbands
and lowered the frames into his
hive. He repeated this tasks
several times saving the brood, pollen and honey as much as possible. Excess honey comb that couln't be rescued was save to feed to the bees above the brood box.
  Photos on this page done by Ettamarie Peterson as proof that she only supervised the move and let Griffin do the job mostly by himself with some assistance from his dad who is learning beekeeping from him.
Here is Griffin with the new hive of bees. He left it sitting on the trunk so that the foraging bees would come back to it. The key hole which the bees had been using as an entrance was placed facing the opposite way.
This job was done the last week of February while there was not too much brood to disturb. Griffin will be reporting on the success of this move at the next Liberty 4-H beekeepers meeting.
Learn More


Bee facts button
Bee Facts
Activities button

Record Keeping
Honey  harvest button
Honey Harvest

More Sites

Queen Rearing button
Queen Rearing
Observation hives button
Observation Hives
Recipe Page button
Wax Moth button
Wax Moths
Rescuing a colony button
Recuing a Colony
top bar hives button
Top Bar Hives

Save the Bees