[The Nambour Labyrinth]
Beehive Removal from Nambour, Sunshine Coast
Nambour never fails to deliver when it comes to challenging beehive removals. Either large or in awkward situations, this beehive ticked both boxes.
These bees got creative with their comb building, starting in the wall cavity and then expanding into the ceiling cavity with their honey stores. This colony certainly created a labyrinth of a beehive.
I first looked at this hive six months earlier when they appeared to be just occupying the wall cavity; however, a good season of nectar flows allowed this hive to grow considerably.
This job is an excellent example of how acting early can save considerable time and cost when it comes to beehive removals. Instead of a 4 or 5-hour task, this job took nine hours.
Being so late in the season, just a few days before winter, the peripheral honeycombs were cold and quite sparsely populated with bees as the majority of the colony clustered close to the brood nest to maintain the temperature there at 34-degrees Celsius. The result was fewer bees to vacuum initially, however, because the comb was quite cold, it was also hard to cut through and very brittle.
As the outside layers of honeycomb were removed, more and more bees were encountered and, as to be expected, they were mainly located on the brood comb.
Even though the nest was built in different planes, the structure was reasonably predictable, which made finding the queen quite straight forward. It was essential to cut off her escape routes by removing combs from the left and right of the nest and any comb that would provide a pathway to other cavities in the building. By doing so, the queen was channelled back towards the centre of the nest, and it was just a matter of patience and care before she was discovered.