Long Beach kids help rescue bees

Bee rescuers Barbara and Richard.

LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:

We did a rescue of a hive attached to the eave of Tom's garage in Long Beach. His grandchildren had noticed them and were eager to have them relocated to that they could play around in the backyard barefoot again.

As with the dresser bees, Richard and Barbara did all the work while I explained what we were doing to the kids as they watched through a window.

Kids love bees!

We noticed something that I hadn't seen before—a rim of bees around the hive. The bees were on the wall and all facing in the same direction. I'm not sure if they were cleaning or waxing the wall or guarding. I'm just not sure but I caught some video so people could see and give some comments.

Interestingly, we heard about this hive both through the Bee Rescue Hotline and separately through a post from a Facebook friend who was trying to find a beekeeper for the same job. Such a small world!

This hive is going like gangbusters with lots of activity and lots of nectar storage despite it being September. Last week Richard noticed that a bunch of drones were being tossed from this hive and when we did a hive inspection this past weekend we saw the drone cells filled with nectar.

Richard has some great colonies right now and both Richard and Barbara will be mentoring others in no time.


Barbara adds:

At 6:30a.m it was barely light when Tom'’s two grandchildren came running outside in their PJs as Rich, Roberta and I began unpacking our gear. Clearly they were ready for this adventure.

We had been there the previous week to check out the hive. The kids had told their Grandpa how big it was (they live next door and play in his yard often) and he thought they might be exaggerating a bit. They weren't. Pruning away the bush that had been hiding it from view exposed a nice big hive—more than a foot wide, 6 or 8 inches deep, and a foot and a half long.

Once we had shooed everyone inside to watch from the windows we set to work smoking the hive, prepping frames for the cutouts etc. We all took turns vacuuming the seemingly infinite number of bees. I was able to reach the hive standing on a 2 foot portable scaffold (great piece of equipment provided by Rich) and began cutting frame-size sections of comb while Rich tied them into frames.

Roberta, ever the teacher, was showing the children pieces of comb through the screened window explaining the different stages of bees in the brood cells, etc. They were fascinated.

After a time Rich and I traded off since I could not reach high enough to get the top sections of comb. We all know what is at the top of comb right? As a semi-newbie I hadn'’t thought of that. I felt bad as I watched honey dripping all over Rich as he cut the comb from the roof edge. He was a good sport about it and besides, he got to keep the bees.