4/26/11

A swarm capture, a cut-out, and making new beekeepers


LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:

We heard from Renata in Venice (pictured above), who caught a swarm on video as it entered a small ventilation hole in her exterior wall April 1st. She investigated different live removals but her landlord wanted to close the hole rather than pay to have them rescued. Luckily she found us and the Bee Rescue Hotline.

A week ago we set up a trap-out with a wire screen duct-taped to the wall and a cardboard box duct taped to a pipe above the hole.




After setting it up I got home and checked my email and the first one read: "The Box Fell!"

Ughhh! I went right back and we set up her patio table and an ironing table with a tomato cage positioned to keep the box from blowing over. It looked crazy, but prevented having to drill a couple more holes in the wall to set up a bracket.

That's some serious crazy.

I checked it a week later and they looked like they had all moved into the box. I'm going to leave it for a couple more weeks just to make sure. Then the bees will go to Rob, Renata's co-worker, who has already ordered hive boxes and his protective gear.

Rob and I had planned on checking the trap out together, but then a swarm call came in just a few minutes from his place: bees had moved into a water meter in Mar Vista. We couldn't pass that up.

Outside the water meter.

We checked it out and the hive was still small with 3 new combs and the bees had a wonderful temperament. We transferred them to a cardboard box and left another box to catch the foragers. Rob went back at night and was able to get all of them.

Inside the water meter.

The best part was that many of the neighbors stopped, asked questions and were very supportive. It wasn't just a bee rescue, but more of a public service announcement. Even the neighbors across the street had us come over to get a beekeeping consultation.

Rob and his bees.

As soon as we left, those same neighbors posted on our Yahoo group that they want to host a hive. Now Renata's bees are safe, Rob has a new colony and we have a new prospective bee home!

—roberta

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