I have been late in posting updates on the bee removal we did in Portal last week. The colony was very healthy and the removal was largely a success. The bee-vac we built worked very well.
We hived the colony and placed it in the woods on the family farm. When I inspected the hive, I discovered that the bees had made several queen cells on the comb we salvaged. That told me that the queen didn’t survive the removal. I would buy a new queen, but in this case I am going to allow these bees to raise their own in order to retain as much of their feral genetics as possible.
Below is a couple of pictures we took before we began removing the bees. The exposed mass of bees and comb was really just the tip of the iceberg because much more of the colony was located up under the floor boards of the house above the black area you see in the picture. The 3rd picture is of the hives in which the bees now reside.