Monday, March 29, 2010

Bees They Come Bees They Go and Bees...

On Saturday morning I checked on the Y Bees I had captured on Friday Evening. They gave every appearance of moving from the nuc into the hive box. When I went back in the afternoon and checked again they were gone. Ingrates!! After I had sustain five or more stings and left with a swollen face they had decided my site was not good enough?? That is bugs for you. Backwards Beekeepers just provide the space, the rest is up to the bees and often they go elsewhere.

This drone looked in need of a new home and I showed up to help him out. Notice the big eyes on the top of the head. That marks him as a drone, the only guys in the hive. I had helped the YMCA get rid of a problem and moved the bees to a better place even if it was not at my house. Now it was Bee Rescue Hotline to my rescue. Late Sunday there was a report of bees in Marina Del Rey. I needed bees so I called and talked to Cammie. She had just watched some show on PBS or Discovery and was adamant that her problem bees would be save and not killed. She called the right place. I talked to her boyfriend, Rory, this morning. He seemed anxious to have the issue resolved so I cut breakfast short, made another screened lid for a second nuc and went to Playa Vista.

This was the view from his patio door.

There were Bees underneath the BBQ.

There Bees coming out the top of the BBQ.

There were Bees coming down the leg of the BBQ. There were lots of bees but true to bee swarming norms, these were very gentle bees. Not one time did I get any head butts or buzz-bys trying to get me to leave. This included when I dropped the BBQ a couple of times. These bees were much nicer than the Y bee ingrates.

After spraying them with sugar water I snuggled one nuc up next to the bees on the leg and tried to nudge them into the nuc. No way, they were very nice but they did not want to move into the nuc. A few inspected the nuc but that plan was going to take too long. On to strategy #2 and more direct action. I placed one nuc under the BBQ and one next to the leg, lifted the BBQ and dropped it.

That got some action, there were bees everywhere.

And a lot of them were on the ground.

As we waited many of them crawled into the box holding the second nuc and up the side of the other nuc. There were still a lot left up under the BBQ and on the BBQ leg. Another BBQ drop/thump was needed. I gently moved a lid under the wheel that was covered with bees. It seemed the queen was in the nuc directly under the BBQ having fallen after the first drop but many of her subjects needed encouragement to join her. With nuc and lid in place I did the second BBQ drop and also brushed bees on the leg into the BBQ. A majority of the bees seemed to be in the primary nuc. After letting the others try to walk up into the nuc I gradually moved all the lids and anything with bees on them and scrapped them into the primary nuc.

After a long wait I closed both nucs and was about to take them home. There were still a couple hundred bees not in the nucs and I remembered Cammie's wish to save as many as possible. I decided to leave both nucs on the patio overnight with the lids askew. The bees should all migrate to one nuc in the late afternoon and early evening. Very late tonight Rory will got out and close the lids on the nucs. The bees will stay there until tomorrow when I will go back and pick them up.
Then Cammie & Rory will have their patio and bikes back and I will have the Playa Bees to replace the Y ingrates that absconded. Everybody wins and a nice start to the week.

Long live the Bee Rescue Hotline!!

1 comment:

DwarvenChef said...

Sounds like a good day :)