[Nambour Monster]

 

Beehive Removal from Nambour, Sunshine Coast

This 3 year old beehive in the ceiling of a home could only be described as a MONSTER. This was close to a 12 hour beehive removal job. Just as I thought I might be getting to the end I discovered the honey stores went back another four foot into the ceiling and contained comb as long a my arm, packed with honey. It was the biggest bee hive removal I have done on the Sunshine Coast. They make things big in Nambour and this bee hive removal was no different.

When a hive has been present for this long, with as much room as it needs to expand, the population keeps on increasing to maximum. Mathematically a hive can grow to a population of about 60,000 bees. This is based on a queen laying 2000 eggs a day, an attrition rate of 500 bees dying each day and workers living for about 6 weeks. That’s 1500 bees multiplied by 42 days = 63,000 bees, give or take a few thousand. Despite signs that this hive had swarmed recently (I found recent queen swarm cells), this hive must have been close to maximum population.

All of the brood comb was almost black, a result of many generations of bees making their cocoons as they pupate turning the cells darker and darker as time passes. I saved only 8 frames of this dark brood comb and will cycle this out the new managed hive as soon as possible. I could have saved more but most of the other comb was overloaded with drone brood and this hive had a huge population of drones and certainly didn’t need any more.

As for the honey I removed, I think the home owners will have a good supply for the foreseeable future. The rest I will feed back to this colony by crushing it and placing in a container inside the hive, allowing the workers to clean it up and pack it into new clean frames inside their new home.

Thank you Vicki and your family for calling us in to remove this beehive and save another colony.

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