After discussion with their fellow bee keepers, Connie and Ted alerted us that they were coming back to rescue the bees along with their fellow bee keeper Cal. (His blog is sprinkled with a lot of information about bee keeping, check it out.)
They arrived just before 7:30 AM and began by fogging the site of the hive to keep the bees inside and I assume keep them from getting agitated. Note the various stages of protection....Cal, the closest to the bees didn't even put on gloves!
Next, Ted cut a section from the top of the tree. This is done to see how far up the tree the hive is located.
There was no evidence that the hive was that far up the tree trunk, so now, a section was trimmed from opposite side, which is closest to the bee's opening.
This end is fairly rotten. The next step was to attempt to split the trunk open from the top to get a better view of where the hive is located.
Connie and Ted listen to the buzzing bees.
I wasn't brave enough to take this photo.....Ted stuck the camera in the hole of the trunk.....clearly...there are a mess of bees in there!
Finally, the hive is revealed.
Large and small sections of the honey comb are now visible. Along with lots of bees.
Cal, wearing only rubber gloves (is he nuts?) begins gathering the honey comb which is placed in their new wood frame home. He got stung numerous times, as did Ted.....Connie remained covered up and safe!
Unfortunately, I missed much of this recovery process because I had to head off to the Arboretum to present a lecture at the Asheville Quilt Guild's annual quilt show. Thank you to 'the husband' who documented these steps and happily didn't get stung!
The honey comb is cut to fit into the frames.
A local dog wandered in to see the action.........it too got stung!
After nearly 5 hours, the bees now have a new home. As it turned out, apparently in the nick of time since there was no honey in the hive for them to feed from. This was probably the result of the ongoing draught in Western North Carolina. The bee keepers believe they probably would have perished within a week.
This experience has been so educational for us and I hope for you readers too. Support your local bee keepers!