Mouse over small images for description.

Double click any image and slide show will start at top of page.


These are images of a colony established in an apartment balcony in Norfolk, NE.  The colony was in it's second year according to residents.  The Norfolk Fire Division Prevention Bureau was contacted about the bees.  Bob was consulted, determined they were honeybees and contacted the apartment manager to arrange for removal if desired. 

On July 7, 2009 Bob and Mary Jo performed a 'cut out' of the colony.  It took about 3 hours to remove all the comb, honey and bees.  The queen was located and caged to attract the bees into a 'catch hive'.  One return trip each of the next 2 days (Mary Jo and Landon the last) and the bees were all removed alive. 

Balcony deck where honeybee colony was established.
Colony entrance was at top of corner.
View of entrance from outside.
Inside view of the entrance as the plywood was removed.
First glimpse of colony as plywood was loosened.
Second glimpse as plywood was being removed.
Bees traveling to and from the entrance and their combs.
And here is their nest of about 35 combs.
Colony with combs fully exposed.  Life was never going to be the same as they had known it!
Bees clustered and comb building at far rear of nest.  There were several smaller combs under construction which were fully covered by bees.
View from rear looking toward entrance.  Note the capped brood on the dark combs in the middle.
First 3 combs removed and exposed capped honey.
Bees were brushed off outside of each comb, it was cut down and bees brushed off the other side.
As combs were removed the colony became more congested and disoriented bees gathered at the entrance.
Nucleus hive was screwed to the deck to start 'catching' the bees at the entrance.  No catching actually involved they had to be lured in with combs removed from the nest and the queen when she was found and caged.
The darker combs now being exposed were brood combs where the queen lays eggs and the workers rear new bees.  Capped honey is visible on the right and they also store pollen in these combs.    About 5 combs in from here we located the queen, caught and caged her.
Things were getting pretty crazy and Mary Jo arrived so we suited up.
Dressed for battle as a few of them did not approve of the move to their new home.    I had worked with only the protection of my smoker up until shortly before this.
The hive bodies in which the combs of brood and bees were placed.  Very little sraps of comb with nothing (brood or honey) in them.
Combs with honey that were removed.  A small amount of capped brood is visible which was drones.  Any combs with worker brood were saved with bees on them.  The honey on these combs was all salvaged.
Just about there.  After the brood combs there was more honey to remove.
Bees congregating at the entrance and on nuc box.  We used a double screen the catch the combs as I cut them away.
'Where did our home go?'  Combs all removed but not finished by any means.
Caged queen is in nuc box which turned out to be not big enough for all the bees.  Hive bodies on ground was removed and placed on a colony at home.
Later that evening a second nuc box with the bottom removed was added.  I also rigged up bracket and bungy cord to make retrieval easier.  What did we do before cordless drills and bungy cords?
The next morning they still were not all in.  Bee on outside were brushed onto a comb, placed in an empty box with the caged queen.  These were removed that morning and the last was picked up the next evening.
Inside only a few bees (not visible) persisted on a small piece of burr comb which I scraped away clean.
More later on how the girls fared in their new home.