4/4/11

Roberta's Highland Park heroes


LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:

I got a sad call from my hive's host yesterday. The Ag department came to check the hives and said that they needed to be moved. I would only have a few days so I needed help fast. I knew that Warren was helping Shannon, Eric and their children host bees and become beekeepers so I called him right away. He immediately said he would help, my first hero.

We've both had sketchy hive move experiences so we did a lot of planning to make this happen right. We would need moving screens (thanks Ceebs!!), wooden planks to screw the boxes together, ratchet straps and some muscle. At the last moment Warren smartly thought we should ask for more help because these are 4 boxes hive and at the bottom of a hill.

I immediately thought of Tom and Ryan and I emailed them a few hours before the planned move at 7pm thinking that it wasn't fair to ask for such a big favor like this. Well, Tom called and said he was up for it and would meet us there, my second hero. Then as I started walking to the hives located at the bottom of a small hill I saw someone laying down by the hives in the dark and waving. It was Ryan already waiting by the hives! I can honestly say that my heart leapt, my third hero!!! He was very calm and confident that everything would go smoothly. I really needed that.


We straightened out the boxes and patched up little cracks. It was nice to be working with the hives with a warm smell coming from them even though I was pretty nervous because of the previous iffy experience when I moved these hives by myself. But at the same time I was looking forward to having them in a new location because there were dogs that made it hard to work with the hives.

The bees seemed calm even though they are usually pretty defensive. We put the moving screen in place and then ratchet strapped the boxes together. Then we put the planks on three sides with a few screws on the bottom to keep everything firmly in place.


Then there was a muscle move with Tom and Warren carrying the hives up some crazy dirt and broken cement steps. But once at the car, they made it look easy. When the hives were in the truck Ryan strapped them down one more time to keep them from tipping during turns. Yay, we were half way done!


Warren and I said goodbye and headed to Lakewood where we met Shannon and her children. They checked out the hive and felt the warmth from all the bees in the boxes and smelled the wonderful honey and wax fragrance. I wish we could bottle the smell.


Warren brought a pallet for the bees. These hives have been strong enough to fend off ants on their own, which is really nice, so no moats necessary. Shannon is really excited about being the guardian for these and Warren is going to mentor her throughout the process. I'm so happy that the bees have such a welcoming home. And again, many thanks to my Highland Park heroes that made it possible.

Lesson is, when moving hives, do it in the evening, screw everything together, use screen to cover the entrance and ask your friends to help and then as Kirkobeeo says, “Bob’s your uncle!!!"

—roberta

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