About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bee swarm removal

We have been wanting to get bees for a long time but have so much going on in our backyard already (most of which is completely new to us) that we have decided to wait a little while until we introduce bees to our little homestead. However, Bryan is extremely excited to get familiar with bee colonies and seeing as one of his friends started his first colony this year, Bryan jumping in to help out and learn! On craigslist there are quite a few ads for "free bees". Basically, a hive has "swarmed" and has taken up residence in a location that the property owner is not very happy with a colony of bees living like a tree or inside a wall.
  • "Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. A new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, a process called swarming. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season." - as stated by the trusty Wikipedia!
In this case, Bryan found a strong hive that was located inside the wall of someones barn. They didnt know how long the hive had been there, but once the wall was cut out it was obvious they had taken up residence there for at least a year if not more. Before digging in, Bryan and Nate took a look at the situation to get a better idea of where to start cutting out the outer wall.

Nate gives the "thumbs up" and they are ready to get suited up!

After taking off board after board they could see the hive was very well established and going strong!

Now that they outer wall is out of the way they can start removing the honeycomb. There are different methods of bee removal but Bryan and Nate chose to slowly remove the comb piece by piece bringing bees along with it. Once the comb was safe in the boxes they were able to go back and brush off any remaining bees and gently put them into the box with the comb as well.

The process took several hours but once the comb was all removed they bees were attracted to the box so they were able to close up the box and bring the bees to their new home.


  1. Abby, this is the most terrifying blog post I've ever read! So, are the bees yours or the Mathews'?

  2. They belong to Nate! Bryan is being his "apprentice" for now to learn as much as he can so he can have his own bees next spring. They got another hive extraction this last weekend as well but I don't have any pictures of it yet... No, I was not in attendance at either of these events but sent the camera in my absence :)

  3. My dad used to keep bees in our back yard when I was little. They used to scare me so much. I did enjoy having fresh honey though.