5/25/11

Roberta finds a tough trap-out and makes a new beekeeper


LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:

Kirk put me in contact with Barrett, who had bees in the base of a Sycamore tree. The bees had been there at least a year. A bee company had come to fill up the opening with a spray foam, but that didn't work. Now it was time to try something new and better, so we met planned a 6am trap out. Luckily Barrett found out that his neighbor, David, had just set-up a new hive a couple of weeks ago and he was interested in helping despite the crazy hour.

We nailed in the screen with a small hole in the middle of a cone shape that would help funnel the bees out of the trap out screen. We tacked down the screen to the ground with garden staples and then buried it in dirt. It looked great but it didn't last very long, as some creature found it the next day and dug up the dirt and closed the hole. We fixed it the next weekend but then those sneaky bees found a way out the back of the tree!



We'll throw some dirt where they are coming out and hope for the best. The trap-out will take a while but in the meantime...


Barrett liked the idea of having a beehive, and I mentioned that we could give the trapped-out bees some brood to make a new queen. Well, I only had mean bees from the Long Beach cutout that I did with Ty; they were on my apartment patio for lack of a better place to put them. Barrett was wonderful and offered to give them a home.

So I rushed to get them and while I was gone David and Barrett made a bottom and top board for the bees. Before moving the bees, I screwed in some boards to the sides of the boxes. I made a makeshift transport set up by sandwiching some screen between two boxes with cardboard on the bottom. Worked pretty well. They were still pretty hot so I used Max's recommendation and put some cold packs on top of the box to keep them cool.


While I was gone, Barrett created a flat area in the side of the hill behind his house. But boy it is high and steep. I still can't believe that Barrett carried the hive all the way up the hill (with some support from David).


We took everything apart except for the cardboard bottom. We removed the screen and ran. It's a long story, but the bees got trapped in the box for a a week—but it seems like they were able to bounce back pretty well and are a lot nicer having all that space up the hill in a beautiful location.

Now there is a swarm in a bush and we're going after that one next. Phew, it's never ending.

—roberta

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