3/30/12

New beekeeper, big bee rescue

Laura and Susan, with some serious treasure.



New Backwards Beekeeper Phoenix writes:

Summer and Kirk Anderson are my Sunday mentors at Los Feliz and that's where I first saw a bee hive. I got the bee fever and wanted a hive. The attached photos are from a Manhattan Beach cutout. This was my first cutout and I am very grateful to Susan R. and Laura B. for their help. It was a learning experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The hive was located in Manhattan Beach, California and it hung right over the driveway as you can see. The homeowner wanted the hive removed. We went to the location three days in order to complete the entire cutout process.

Day 1: We went to inspect the hive and assess on how we can remove the hive safely without too much disturbance to bees and environment since this is a residential area. We looked at the various branches attached to the hive and the type of equipment needed to lower it down. We needed a tall ladder to get to the hive, a shear to trim the branches, a trash can to store the hive overnight for the bees to return, a fence to secure the hive, and ropes to tie it. Sugar water to spray on the bees and a smoker to calm the bees down. Rubber bands to secure the combs to the frames.

Susan sprays some sugar water on the hive.


Day 2: Laura and Susan cut the branches, lowered the hive and secure it with a rope to a nearby tree. We let the hive hung over the trash bin overnight so all the bees can return to the hive before we remove it from the premise. It is important to note that the hive should not touch the bottom of the trash bin, otherwise, the wax combs would be damaged. Laura and Susan also brought a bamboo fence to surround the trash can with the hive overnight, this is to keep out curious eyes and hands.

Day 3: Laura and Susan spray the hive with sugar water so they don't fly all over. It is also a way to calm them down. They were relatively calm and friendly overall this particular hive.


The sliced combs were secured into seven different frames with rubber bands. There were many tiny branches intertwined into the combs that we had to trimmed off. We got a total of seven frames completed with combs. We placed the combs according to its natural orientation (position) which means that the top side should be placed facing the top side of the frame (not upside down).

Laura and Susan pack up the hive.


At the end, we dumped all the loose bees into hive, sealed them off with a screen at the entrance and use duct tape to secure it before driving them home.

—Phoenix

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