PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROCEDURE IS INVASIVE ON THE BUMBLEBEE NEST AND CARRIES A HIGH RISK OF STINGING. IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR NORMAL DOMESTIC ENJOYMENT OF THE BEEPOL NEST
My first attempt to remove the beepol hive plastic lid had been unsuccessful and the lid was left in the nest (loose and unglued), so my immediate concern was to go back in late and night and remove it before it started getting incorporated into the nest structure! (I.e. before the bees started to build wax structures around and on it).
The plan was simple: under cover of night and red light again, I would open the lodge very quickly, grab the lid and close before the bees really had chance to even come to the front of the lodge. There was going to be no pause to analyse or consider any bumbles on the lid - instead, we would place the lid immediately in a large plastic tub so that we had them contained, and then help get them back into the nest through the entrance.
The operation went very smoothly (as planned this time!) and was done without any harm to the residents. Two actually came out with the lid, trapped in the "one way entrance" chamber. (I'm not a fan of this chamber, we had bees die in here last year also). One of those bumbles turned out to be dead already, the other we coaxed out and onto the ledge. She stood guard for about 10 minutes, probably wondering how she had been miraculously transported from inside the nest to outside, but then found the entrance and went back inside without fuss.
The view inside the beepol nest (CH2 & CH3) is now vastly improved, just as we had intended. We can clearly and easily see wax pots and lots of busy bees looking after them.