LA Backwards Beekeepers Barbara and Roberta have been doing fantastic work lately—not just rescuing bees, but documenting the process to help others learn from their experience.
Warren had contacted us about some north Long Beach bees in need of rescue. Josie had watched a swarm descend upon her lemon tree about 4 months prior and that was about the time she noticed bees flying around in her carport. She has a pretty strong allergy to honey—one day too many of putting honey in her tea gives her a pretty nasty rash—so it was important to remove the bees.
Carport wall before demolition...
Once Roberta and I arrived, it was clear that it would be easier to access the hive from next-door neighbor Monica’s backyard than from Josie’s storage-filled carport. Fortunately we had permission from them both to tear down whatever was necessary to get to the bees.
We took turns pulling down fence boards then took a crowbar to the back wall of the old carport. There they were: lots of bees, living on what seemed to me to be some pretty old comb. I doubt the hive arrived 4 months prior. I’m guessing what Josie saw was a swarm leaving, not arriving.
Roberta had thought we would finish in an hour but unfortunately I can rarely keep up with her (who can?), so it took 2 hours. By the time we finished scraping off as much wax as we could, ants had already started moving in to clean up the remaining honey.
I did mention to Josie that since she loves her honey, she should start buying untreated raw honey from a local beekeeper; that the pollen in it might get her over her allergy.
Here are some more great video clips of the process: