The nest was obviously occupied for many years, although the colony could have died several times with new swarms moving in. That would hardly be noticed by the people. This is a typical colony size—5' tall and 2' wide. Also typical are the long droopy combs at the bottom irregular comb near the top.
|Cutting out brood comb.|
The brood needs almost the same temperature that a poultry incubator provides, so I keep as many bees on the brood comb as possible and I brush more off into the hive to maintain the proper temperature. The rest are vacuumed into a special vacuum that doesn't injure the bees and in the evening I poured them into the new hive. The homeowner wants to become a beekeeper. Since he stayed through the entire process, got stung and still shows interest, I have no qualms about giving him the bees once I've established them in a movable comb hive. I like his one comment, "Beekeeping is a lot of work, isn't it?"