Last week, while I was in Vancouver, a fierce windstorm blew through Sydney. In addition to breaking off many branches from the trees in the convent next door, our main beehive was blown off the roof. Eeek!
Priscilla sent me a message as soon as she came home from work, describing the mess of bees, comb and honey. There was nothing I could do from Vancouver (obviously!), but thank goodness Gavin Smith (our local bee guru) was able to come around first thing the following morning.
By chance the bottom two boxes had stayed on the roof, and most of the bees remained in that. Gavin was able to put up a third box, and then put the lid back on.
The boxes themselves survived, but many of the frames were smashed. While we lost two full boxes of honey, Gavin was able to salvage a few of the less damaged frames, and I harvested 4.6L of honey yesterday. Which is good, but imagine how much we would’ve had without this disaster!
The hive has survived (so far), and all things going well, it should be back into productive shape shortly. And the season is still early, so plenty of time for harvesting honey yet.
The lesson learnt: strap down hives really well, with multiple straps if the hive is in an exposed location.