[150,000 Dead Bees]

 

Beehive Removal from Kiels Mountain, Sunshine Coast

On this beehive removal job at Kiels Mountain, we were met by the unbelievable sight of at least 150,000 dead bees piled in the middle of the floor of a bedroom that had been closed up for at least 12 months. The wall housed a 5-year-old beehive, and at some point, in the previous year or two, the colony had chewed through wall lining and had started entering the bedroom. Unable to leave via the closed windows, bees perished by the thousands.

There were so many dead bees that a shovel was needed to remove them from the room before we started the task of saving the remaining bees.

When the plasterboard was removed to expose the nest, we discovered that this colony had experienced another traumatic occurrence. The hive had suffered a meltdown previously which can happen during extremely hot weather when the comb inside the hive starts to melt and collapse.

The evidence of the meltdown was seen in the distorted honeycomb cells and the labyrinth of comb that remained in the honey storage area of the hive. Typically honeycombs are built in reasonably neat sheets, however after a meltdown, with the comb in disarray, the bees simply get to work reconnecting all of the combs where they lie.

Despite these setbacks, the colony was flourishing, with a population of about 50,000 bees. After spending 5 years in this wall, it was time to relocate them to one of our apiary sites and get them ready for spring.

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