Thank you Chesnut parent Laurey Bryant (mom of Chesnut Changer Sydney Lachin) for sharing this story of a local bee rescue that took place at their house. As bee populations have dwindled worldwide, It’s inspiring that this family kept their cool and found a way to help these bees survive:
Last, spring, when the family discovered a beehive in between the walls of their garage, they realized the bees had gotten in by way of an A/C wall unit.
As mom Laurey Bryant told it,
“After many phone calls and price quotes of over $600 we found a beekeeper that offered to come remove the bees at no charge. She called in a more experienced beekeeper to assist her. They were very enthusiastic and taught us a lot. Richard borrowed a Bee Suit and cut the sheet rock. He was involved in the process. Sydney and I stayed in the house until they were through vacuuming. As you can imagine bees were everywhere! The two beekeepers were here for over 4 hours.”“The beekeeper said the hive was several years old! I have included a picture of the honeycomb that shows the cells containing different colors. Those colors represent different pollen sources. They put pieces of the hives in the ‘frames’ [as pictured below]. They will use them for the bees when they get home.”“The beekeeper was able to taste the honey and identify the primary flavor. In residential areas it is usually always a mix. She could taste Tulip Poplar in our honey. They gave us a five gallon bucket of the honeycomb and said it will produce about 2 gallons of honey. After checking carefully for bees and larvae, we took bites of the honeycomb and sucked the honey out. It was delicious!”“It was an interesting and educational experience. The beekeepers said if you ever see honeybees swarming, contact the local beekeepers association and they will come and gather them.”
From the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association website:
“With recent losses of bee populations worldwide, seeing a few bees around the garden is something to celebrate. But what do you do when a few thousand bees show up? Most swarms are the size of a football, more or less. Longer days bring a surge of blooming trees and flowers which create a short window of time for healthy honey bee colonies to split and create new colonies. This split happens when honey bees swarm: roughly 10-15 thousand bees and their queen will leave an existing colony and land upon a tree branch or side of building. Once there, this mass of bees can resemble a very large pine cone or football shaped mass. Swarming is the natural process that honey bee hives go through to create new colonies and spread their genetics to new locations. Honey bee swarms are vulnerable outside the hive to weather, animals and more importantly people. They need to find a new home quickly. In a rural setting this is usually a hollow tree but in the city with loss of habitat this can take the form of a wall or attic of a house where they become a problem for homeowners. If you encounter a swarm it is important to remain calm and to call a beekeeper quickly before the bees leave to a new home or take up residence in an undesirable location. It is important to not kill or disturb the honey bees by spraying pesticides or even water on them.”