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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My 4th Hive Removal Call

Some neighbors about 6 blocks from here called saying they had a hive in a tree which they were removing before hurricane season starts in a few months. Wouldn't you know it...these bees had about the right about of comb and population to be that swarm that escaped not to long ago. The brood is of the right age and the population is the right size. Even the temperment seemed to match my bees. When they were cutting off the branch and lowering it only one person got stung, and just once. I probably got a few but, I was having some very direct contact. These bees weren't even headbutting. They were just clustering up 30 feet in the tree where the nest had been and in a log on the ground. Despite people working all around them with chainsaws and axes, the bees still weren't peruing to any real level. When I saw how the bees were bearding and all gradually drifting up to the tree I was relatively possitive that the queen was up there. I scooped and cut up the log on the ground and checked every dozen or so for the queen. Then I would mist them with water and plop them into the box. After I went through the entire log with no more than a few hundred, I looked back up at the tree and a secion of limb, about 2 feet long was covered/flooding with bees. Then, sweaty and with a sting or two though my jeans, I had to tell them that I wouldn't be able to get the bees away unless I have the queen given, the bees will orient to her scent. Tommarow, they're bringing in a crane to finish the job and take down the tree. Then, that will be when I get the new colony. On a side note, one of the men was convinceed that he had honey. Oh yeah, they were so gentle that he could take their honeycomb from them with out being stung. Sound like gentle bees? Darn right! Funny part of the story is that he thought it was honey, took a bite and got nothing but brood. I explaned to him that this colony, given it's size, probably doesn't have much in the way of honey. Tomarrow, these bees will be mine...that is assumming, they don't abscond later today. We'll see what happens.

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