Garage cut-out in Long Beach

Ryan and his unwanted guests.

LA Backwards Beekeeper Barbara writes:
Saturday morning early (7 a.m. on a Saturday is early to me), Roberta picked me up and we headed for Ryan's garage bee hive in Long Beach. This was my second beeventure since becoming totally obsessed with all things apian. Little did I know this would be my first “hands-on” bee experience.

Ryan's dog checks out the intruders.

It appeared that the bees were limited to a small area behind a loose fascia board and had not had time to get much farther. After puffing a bit of smoke into the hive, Roberta settled down to showing me how to put together nuc frames.

A few minutes after another poof of smoke on the bees she artfully removed the loose board exposing a lovely one-month-old hive. First she demonstrated how to cut all the sides of the combs away from their attachments, removing a couple of pieces and shaking the bees off into the box. Then she showed me how to lay the comb into the frames and put frame into the nuc box. Lastly she said, in her sweet voice,… "OK Barbara, your turn”."

Ackkkk, I thought, I’'m going up that ladder and cutting comb out of a bee hive? So...up I went on the extremely rickety ladder (note duct tape holding it together in the video) into the cloud of bees.

OK, so they were extremely sweet bees, just feeling a bit disrupted. I managed to cut bee-covered comb off without destroying it, or falling off the ladder, or getting stung on the nose when my veil momentarily fell against my face. Success!

I had an absolutely wonderful time. Someone is getting some really nice bees, and as a final touch Roberta got to see her first-ever woodpecker on the way back to the car. I could get used to this.


Bonus video: the bees drinking honey after getting a couple of puffs of smoke.