A condo project said they had bees on the sidewalk. I got there after work and started the process. I put the nuc near them and went back to get my other gear. In the time I went to get my stuff they had found the nuc and started moving in. All I had to do was stand back and wait.
When the woman called she said they couldn’t get in and out of the door. When I got there I saw the bees were so high up I told them I couldn’t help them. The manager said I could ride up on the forklift to the roof and get them for there. My granddaughter and I went up. As soon as I stepped on the roof it started bucking and rolling just like a ship in rough seas. My granddaughter said “think happy thoughts grandpa.” I don’t like heights to put it lightly. I had to have my wife tell me where the bees were since I couldn’t see them. We made a good team. We left the nuc on the roof to be sure we got most of the bees and picked it up the next day.
He had bees in the wall of his garage. This was a big hive, 3 feet long and 16 inches wide. We cut the wall open and removed the comb. This was an easy removal and our friend helped. When we opened the wall we expected a lot of bees, but there were very few. There was lots of brood though. We put the brood in some of our other hives which made them stronger.
We had a swarm call. I grabbed my granddaughter and we went to the house. They told us it was in a tree over the carport near the front steps. I walked up the steps and didn’t see them. My granddaughter pointed to the tree and said, ‘they are right there.” She went to the truck, got the stuff and started to get the swarm. She was a bit too short to reach it so I helped her. We got them home on a Wednesday evening, on Sunday afternoon they swarmed and left the nuc. You win some, you lose some.
I got a call from a guy who said he had always wanted to keep hives. He said he was a Marine at Camp Smith in Honolulu. He saw a swarm “manned up,” his words not mine, and caught them. I asked him what he put them in since he didn’t have any equipment. He had them in a cardboard box, sealed very well. He brought them over and we put them in a nuc. My wife asked how he had caught them. He said he rolled down his sleeves, put a t shirt on his head and sunglasses. He said he held the box under them and shook the branch. How brave is that? He doesn’t have a place to keep them so we are going to help him out with that.
This morning my 9 year old granddaughter wanted to just be lazy and watch tv all day. I told her there was no way she was just sitting in front of the boob tube. A woman called and asked if we could place bees on her property. We went to take a look at the area. My granddaughter has never been close to any animal other than cats and dogs. This woman had chickens in her yard. They started following her around. She said they were chasing her, I let her know they were just following her because they thought she had food. The woman had a very large mango tree and gave her lots of mangos. Then we got a swarm call. It was at a house that backed up to a golf course. A swarm had landed in a large bush right near their deck. The golf course was beautiful and there was a large mango tree near the swarm. My granddaughter picked a few. This was the first time she has reloaded the smoker and was nervous but did great. She sat down to rest and the homeowner brought out a 2 week old chick. She let her hold it! My granddaughter was in 7th heaven. All she could say on the way home was “What a day!”
I got a call from the Hawaii Air National Guard. They have some impressive jets I couldn’t take pictures of. The woman who called wanted to know if she could help. She was just getting into bees because of her husband and loved it. We went to the flight line and couldn’t find the box where the bees were supposed to be. However, I did find lots of very angry bees hanging around the area she said they were supposed to be. They were hanging around a electrical box that was not in use. Then they found the crate with the bees. Someone had moved them to the cement flight line area. The temp was a bit over 86 with 70% humidity. The comb was attached to the top of the box, but had fallen. The comb was so soft I couldn’t pick it up without damaging it. The woman and I scooped bees and put them in a nuc. I think we got 90% of the bees.
Our granddaughters have been coming to help with swarms. The 10 year old is an old hand at this, she has done 6 swarms. The 8 year old hasn’t been to so many calls. This was her first time with bees falling on her jacket. I had her hold one end of the nuc while I held the other. Then I shook the branch to get the bees into the box. Of course not all of the bees fell into the box, some fell on her. She wasn’t sure what to do, so she just kept holding the box. The girls have their jobs to do when we get a swarm. The younger one sprays them with sugar water, the older one does the smoke. They are learning!
They said the bees had been there overnight. I had to work late. I started putting my stuff out and got everything in place to move the swarm. Just as I started putting on my jacket they started warming up to leave. I hurried and put my stuff on, sprayed them with sugar water and shook them into the nuc. This is the first time I have gotten the majority of the bees before we left. It looked like every bee that was there got into the box.
Got a call about bees on the trunk of a tree. So I grabbed my 10 year old granddaughter and we went. She has her own bee jacket, and when we got there she suited up. She grabbed the sugar water, I moved the nuc underneath the bees and she scooped them in. Then she waited for a bit, put the top on asked me to carry the nuc to the truck. She put the strap around it. When I said I was proud of her for doing it all by herself, she said, “it was no big deal.”