Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back with Bees

Randy had made contact with a gas company with a bee problem in the employee recreation area.  It was a massive hive in a tree.  Randy sent out several calls for assistance and a fine crew showed up..
We arrived at 8:30 ready to work but in this day and age nothing is simple in the industrial world  We signed forms and attended a short film about visiting the plant and all the rules.  About an hour later we go to the tree to find this. It was a beautiful open air hive
Big hive and lots of bees.
Laura and her son Ethan.  He is a rock climber and got to do some high work assisting Randy who started out by climbing up into the tree.
The Ground Crew, Laura, Dennis and Josip.
Randy, Team Leader
Once up in the tree, Randy scoped out the job, sprayed the bees with sugar water and started cutting out comb.
Ed, our intrepid photog pointing to the real action in the tree.
The ground crew in action, taking the comb and putting it into frames. Because the bees had built the hive into a dense mass there were relatively few frames of comb for the hives.  About 8 frames for the standard super and 4-5 for the medium was all Josip could salvage.
Ethan on his ladder perch waiting for more comb to come down.
We removed the lid from the trunk and it became a platform for all the later work.  It worked very well but I soon found out what the bees thought of it when I say it spattered with golden bee poop.
The company had the area well marked and cordoned off.  Nice big signs too.
At this point, the lower portions of the hive have been removed and Randy and Josip are cutting down the hive limb and all.  It was cut loose and lowered to make the comb removal easier
Josip and Randy with their prize
Ethan takes over the hive
Still lots of bees on the hive.
Bees bees bees and some sticks and pine litter.  This part of the hive was all mashed together with little definition between panes of comb.  We cut it out slowing trying to maintain intact pieces but it was a losing battle most of the time.  Earlier the bees had been quite agitated but calmed down at this point.  Later when Randy went back up to collect those still gathering around the old hive site, they got hinky again.
This is the bulk of the bees.  We did not see the queen but she may have gone in when we did a number of shakes of the hive branch.  The bees were acting like she was there..  Josep added the medium super to the hive also. 
Randy, Laura, Ethan and Josep when we were done.  This hive will remain on site over night.  Josip and Randy will pick it up as soon as the guard shack opens tomorrow morning.
This was another good job by Backwards Beekeepers taking care of a bee problem at an industrial site..    On another front, Randy and I will be looking for replacement bees in the Spring.  In spite of our good intentions, the Mission Bees decided they could find a better home and left.  We had also installed bees at an Ashram, those bees left too. All prayers to St Sebastion, patron saint of bees, could not convince them to stay.  We will find some bees that know a good home come next Spring.  You can count on it.

 Golden bee poop...

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