LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:
Last night Rob and I went to check out a tangerine tree hive in Culver City. The hive was a substantial size, described as two basketballs, and the estimate was pretty close—big for a tree hive. It was also pretty high up, about 10 feet.
I shot a few pictures and was trying to figure out when to remove it. Rob just said he would do it that day. He's got a bad case of bee fever! Well, how could I say no?
I called Yvonne who came to lend a hand and Rob started cutting branches away. That took at least an hour and we removed several 8-foot branches to create a path for the hive to some down. We smoked the hive, but the bees were still a little mad about it all.
Since it was night, we could get just about all the bees. By some miracle Rob was able to carry the huge branch down and then Yvonne held it while we trimmed branches to make it fit into the cardboard box. It was a team effort, but Rob did all the hard work.
Rob and Yvonne.
Cutting the hive apart to put it in a box is going to be pretty hard because there are branches stuck all throughout the comb. It's really beautiful. I wish it could have stayed up in the branches, but it was spectacular to see up close.
Rob follows up on the story:
I looked at the bees this morning, and the ants had already found the box. I decided to go ahead and do the cut out this morning. It could not have gone better. The bees were totally honey drunk, as they had gulped virtually every drop of honey. The hive was almost entirely brood, with very little drone comb.
Rather than try another top bar, I tied the comb into some frames for my large super. Total piece of cake comparatively. The problem though is I only had 5 frames. I ordered a bunch but they are still somewhere between here and Brushy Mountain; LA Honey Supply Co. didn't have frames after I drove all the way out there (seriously…?).
This is so much fun Roberta. You said it…I got one heck of a case of bee fever. Maybe I'm under the control of queen pheromones ;)
I'm not sure where these bees are going right now, but I'm sure to find a nice home. In the meantime, they can call my place home.
Thanks again Roberta, you are seriously the best. Total pleasure working with you.