Don and Jack's Honeybee Rescue

The Don Lam/Jack Hartman Honeybee Rescue of 2018


On Thursday, September 20, Don Lam, Jack Hartman and a handful of local beekeepers gathered for the removal of a rather large, relatively unprotected hive from the corner of an elevated playhouse.

This endeavor involved some of Jack’s innovations for doing cutouts, including a shop vac attached to a box that pulled the bees off the comb and into the box, but not into the vacuum. As Ron Rhoades vacuumed off the bees, Don cut the large plates of comb from the siding and eaves, handing them to those who assisted Jack on the deck of the playhouse. They were responsible for wiring the comb to Longstroth deep hive frames. These frames quickly filled three (and probably could have filled more...) deep hive boxes.

The final phase involved transferring the bees in the vacuum box to the hive and raising the hive on another of Jack’s innovations for catching swarms. This placed the hive next to where it had been attached to the siding of the playhouse, allowing the foragers to find their way back 'home'. By then the bees were pretty annoyed with the people who had so disrupted their lives. The hive remained there for several days for the bees to ‘settle in’….

There were a LOT of bees, many stings (despite protective clothing) and most of us in awe of the whole process. The project took several hours from prep to finish on that evening alone. Don and Jack followed up, removing the hive to what will likely be its winter home, the following week.

Our thanks to Don and Jack for sharing this unusual beekeeping adventure, to those who assisted and to those who provided the photos and the video.

Click here to see the video (hit the back button/arrow to return to this page)

photo of Jack with the beehive before removal

This photograph of Jack with the hive was taken a couple weeks before it was removed from the playhouse.

At this point, Don has removed most of the comb, as you can see from the residue under the eave.

Here Don is handing off the comb to be wired into the Longstroth deep frames. The frames were then put into one of three 10-frame deep hive boxes.

Don and Jack prepare to raise the hive boxes next to where the hive was originally attached to the playhouse.

The hive is in place so that the foragers can return home. Don is scraping off more of the beeswax from the siding and eaves, to discourage the bees from trying to rebuild their nest there.