My first bee removal from a wine barrel. A work colleague asked me if I might be able to remove a colony from his brothers wine barrel. As long as I could work out how to get the lid off I was confident at removing the bees.
This barrel was used as a drinks stand on the patio, it had a nice bee hole in the side and this colony probably had moved in a couple of months ago.
The hardest part was getting the lid off. I had to hammer the rings up to loosen the slats so the lid could come out. The shock from tapping the rings made sure lots of bees were dislodged from the combs (under the lid) into the bottom of the barrel.
Unfortunately, the lid fell in as I slipped up the fourth ring. Most of the combs were broken off and lay in the bottom of the barrel. But I don’t think it was a total disaster.
I removed the combs one by one and pressed them into wired frames to hold them, and placed these into a 5 frame NUC. I collected 8 combs and made 4 frames.
A lot of bees remained in the bottom of the barrel. Lucky for me it was not too heavy and I was able to turn it up and tap the rim on the grass.
I must have got lucky and got the queen into the NUC with the combs as the bees soon started to run in.