Any apiarist out there may find this completely boring, but for all you non-beekeeping folks - read on!
The smell of the honey and the beeswax was incredibly strong from several metres away, even before we disturbed the hives.
With all those busy little bodies in the hive it can get quite warm in there so on warm days like this day you will usually find a large number of them hanging around outside.
It's a fast job, you need to be in and out as quickly as possible so as to not disturb the bees as much as it's possible when you are taking a large part of their home away.
Some of the hives were overflowing, definitely due for a raid. The little black comb like thing in the top is used to get rid of the beetles (mites? they look too big to call mites) that like to make their homes in the hives and contains lime.
The frames from these boxes will have the honey extracted from them and then they will be returned to the hives, ready to be filled up again. Raiding will slow down soon, leaving the bees plenty of honey to get them through winter.
That's one thing crossed off the list of things I wanted to do in 2017.
And for a bit of a laugh, this is what hearing a bee through a hearing aid looks like: