All posts by Ken Harmeyer

Harder than expected

This is a rubbermaid shed and the bees were underneath it.  They are supposed to be snap together. Whoever built this thing used screws everywhere to hold it together.  When we started taking it down we found that they used 3 inch screws to hold it down, and some other to hold the top on.  We worked at that for about 2 hours, then we found the floor was on a plywood subfloor 1 inch thick.  We finally got the plywood up and found the bees.  They have been put into a new hive and are living a happy life on a farm on the North Shore of Oahu.

Just to spite me


Bees must know I have a problem with heights.  This removal was on a lanai three stories up.  I had vertigo the whole time.  We are into doing things safely, and I tied off while I was working.  When we opened it up we saw there had been a hive in the same area many years ago.  At least the person who did the removal took the comb out, so many don’t.  We got the bees out, but because they bunched up so far out we couldn’t scoop them.  So we got as many as we could and put the nuc on the lanai above the entrance. We came back two days later and everyone had moved into the nuc. The bad thing is that I forgot my infra red camera in my suit pocket and put the whole thing in the washer.  I am hoping it will dry without damage.

What I hate


Trailers and plantation style homes are a pain sometimes.  Bees seem to like to be under them instead of in a wall.  That means you can’t really sit up or lay down to remove the bees.  You have to kind of sit in a bended over position. Jon was one of those who wanted free bees so he came to help.  One of the things about working under a house or trailer is that the bees and honey fall on your suit.  Sometimes the bees find a way into the suit and sting.  That didn’t happen this time.  It took three of us to get the job done.  One of us had to use the smoker most of the time these bees were so aggressive. Jon says they are doing fine.

My Neighbor has bees flying around


The woman called and said there was a swarm flying around her neighbors yard, could we do something.  We told her that our bee lasso was broken at the time.  Then we got serious, and told her that we couldn’t do anything till they landed.  Shortly thereafter a guy called and said he had bees in a bush.  After talking for a short bit we realized he was the one with the bees in his yard.  We went out and grabbed them.  It was a small swarm, but they were ready to find a home because they went right into the nuc without any trouble.

Small and dark


For awhile now we have been telling people that if they help with a removal they can have the bees.  Chris was ready to go!  These were under an outside staircase. We had to move everything out of a closet, they get down under the stairs to get them out.  We had to bring our own light and fan because it was dark and hot.  Chris was game though, he got right in there and started scraping the comb off the roof area.  We had to take a lot of breaks because of the tight space, bending or kneeling for a long time is not possible.  Chris only had one hive, but he said he will buy another one and wants to help again!



Hawaii is a small place, and people know people.  Raymond called and said he knew where there were two abandoned hives.  He said the beekeeper got a brain tumor, moved to Florida to be with his sister then died.  He said the guy hadn’t been around for about two years.  He wanted help to move them into a hive that wasn’t falling apart.  The beekeeper he was talking about was Howard McGinnis.  He taught me to be a beekeeper.  As I said, Hawaii is a small place. We went to where the hives were and I saw that only one was alive, just barely.  The boxes were so termite eaten they were falling apart and had big holes in them.  With my guidance Raymond moved the bees to the new hive.  I told him he HAD to move all the other old equipment out because they would attract bugs. He called me the other day and said they looked like they were doing well.  If you look closely in the first picture you will see his son without any veil or bee suit.  The guy is a natural.

A Barrel of fun


A nursery called and said they had bees in a 55 gal metal drum, could we come get them?  We got there and found that they knew the bees had been there, but they haven’t cleaned the area for awhile and it wasn’t a problem.  Now they cleaned the area and it was a problem.  Since it was late we asked if we could take the barrel with us.  My wife reached down to brush off ants, and she rubbed a hole in the thing it was so rusted.  We put a sheet on either end of the barrel, put it in the back of my truck and took it to a place we can work on it later.  All in all a good capture. While we were there someone else asked us if we do removals from walls. He showed us the place in his house, we are going to work on it later.

Hawaii is a small place

Hawaii is a small place.  If you live here long enough you are going to run into someone you know.  That happened to me on this removal.  The woman’s husband called and said the bees had been in the eves for about 3 days.  I told him I would pick them up.  When I got there, he said you drive for a living don’t you? Then he named the company.  His wife works at a place I make deliveries to on a regular basis.  I call her the rose lady because she has a large rose tattoo on her arm.

Flower pots


The woman called and I missed the call, so I called back.  She didn’t answer the phone so I left a message.  She called me back and I missed it again! So she texted me and we connected that way.  She thought the bees had been in the flower pot only a few days, maybe a week.  She had put the flower pot over a stump so it wouldn’t grow. I filled five frames with comb and brood. The bees gathered on the outside of the nuc, so I had to smoke them in.  There were a lot of them!

OOPs this is a shower


My wife went for the estimate. The people said it was a shed, that is what she saw.  When we got there and moved the buckets we saw the shower head.  This was once an outside shower.  We started cutting into the wall where the bees were and found that it was cement board.  All we had was out multitool.  While it is good, the blades we have were not made for cement.  We wore out two blades.  Then we opened up the wall, wow!  There were lots of bees and even more comb.  There was also lots of brood.  We used all five frames and still had c