Disaster strikes: our bee hive was blown off the roof

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Broken frames and smashed comb!
Broken frames and smashed comb!

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.

Not much left for some of the frames.
Not much left for some of the frames.

5 thoughts on “Disaster strikes: our bee hive was blown off the roof

    Emily Heath said:
    November 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Really sorry to hear this – amazing that the hive survived! Bees are really very resilient. Are you feeding them syrup – they might be hungry if they’ve lost all their stores?

    solarbeez said:
    November 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    That’s tough about your hive getting blown over. I worry about that here, but now I’ve placed some straw bales to block the wind.
    Save the comb, you can use it later in bait hives to attract a swarm. You might want to freeze it 24-48 hours before you use it in case there are wax moth larva.

    Caitlin @ The Siren's Tale said:
    November 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

    So sorry to hear about this.. thank goodness some of it was redeemable!

    Bee hives are very tough! | Lewisham House said:
    November 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    […] month ago I reported our bee catastrophe, when our bee hive was blown off the roof. Thanks to a rapid response by Gavin, the bee hive was reassembled from what remained, but the […]

    Our first beeswax | Lewisham House said:
    December 8, 2013 at 7:21 am

    […] of the upsides of our hive catastrophe is that it provided a lot of honeycomb. After the honey was harvested, the rest was ready to be […]

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