9/24/11

Two bee rescues become one hive

These are some top-drawer bees.



LA Backwards Beekeeper Roberta writes:

Now that I’m in Long Beach, I’ve found a new team for bee rescues that includes Barbara and Richard. Barbara has wanted to work with bees for a long time now and has a new top bar hive ordered and ready to arrive this week. After a month of the two of us doing bee adventures together we found Richard. He had helped his grandfather with hives when he was very young and remembering those experiences sparked a new desire to have his own hives.

The first rescue the three of us took on were bees in a dresser. The homeowner’s’ son called the Bee Rescue Hotline and described a beehive in a mattress that had been left outside. As usual, what we found was different than reported. The mattress was propped up against an empty dresser that contained a hive.

There was a good level of activity so we started to remove the drawers to see how many were occupied by bees.  Even though this was his first experience with bee rescues in a very long time, Richard took the initiative and did a lot of it on his own.

Richard dives in.


It was a mess getting the drawers out, but once the dresser was open it wasn’t too hard to get the comb tied into the frames and the honey put away.  We left the box and frames in place and came back about a week later to find some bees but not a lot of activity so probably the majority of the bees had swarmed off after having their home torn apart.  

Luckily we had another call from a woman with bees in her jacuzzi. Her daughter-in-law noticed them when she was in the water and saw a few bees. She investigated the slightly open door to the motor where she saw the bees coming from and a glob of bees dropped to the ground. She stayed calm, and the bees didn’t seem to mind the disturbance. The family called the hotline, and we went out to do the rescue.




The homeowner and her daughter-in-law were happy to have us, at first.  We removed the soft new comb (too soft to be tied into frames) and put them in a cardboard box and left that for the foraging bees to return to.




In no time after we left we had several calls within an hour from the homeowner who was very concerned that the bee rescue was going astray. She called with updates about the bee activity including that they were gathering on the box then swarming to a bush and then hanging from a branch on the bush.

Luckily Richard was very patient and calm and went over and gathered the bees from the branch and added them to the dresser bees. Now all the bees are happily fixing up the comb from the dresser cutout.

More rescue stories to come...

—roberta

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