Since the bees were in a bush next to the sidewalk the guy had put up sawhorses with the sign on them to warn people away. He was afraid the bees would attack and he would be in trouble. These girls were ready to get into a hive. They had arrived on Saturday afternoon. We couldn’t get to them then and told him to call back if they were still there Sunday. He called on Monday morning. We went to pick them up on Monday evening. They almost jumped into the box. A week before I had found a 1 week old kitten at work. A mongoose had killed mom. I took it home and we bottle fed it. We took it with us to the swarm. The woman of the house fell in love with it, and it stayed with her. A fair trade I think, I got paid and the kitten got a good home.
The man who called me said he has lived in this house for 50 years. In that time he has had only 2 swarms, including this one. His yard and garden were immaculate. When I first walked up I couldn’t see where the bees were. He had to get close and point them out.
In Hawaii there are lots of places that don’t have an address on the outside of the building. This house was one of those. When I pulled up for the estimate I had to look at the houses on both sides, then had to take a chance on this being the right place. The owner of the house is a very pleasant woman. We talked for a while then she said OK let’s do this. Bee removal is not an exact science. The light they were going in was about head high from the inside. We used our thermal camera and saw where they were. So we opened the wall. We were surprised to find that they crawled up the wall then through a hole in the stud to the ceiling area. They were behind some pipes and electrical wires. They were as calm as could be, even when I scooped them up with my cup.
When I got the call for this removal the woman said they were in her mailbox. I was thinking that they were IN the mailbox. They were in the enclosure around the mailbox. I figured the shingles on the outside would come off and I would have access to the bees. Boy was I wrong. This thing was really built well. I did my best to remove the plywood panel in the front, then after removing what bees I could I saw I was going to have to remove the back panel. When I did that the top came off also. At least it all stayed together. The person who owned the house is architect. When I asked her what she had done that we might know she said she had done the PBS building at Sand Island and Nimitz. It is a beautiful building.
It’s funny, some people say I hope they don’t bite me. What they really mean is, they hope they don’t get stung. We picked up this swarm in Salt Lake. It was a bit bigger than I thought it would be. We told the woman that there would be bees around for a few days. That is when she said, “I hope they don’t bite me.” After years of doing this and hearing people say that we just went with it. Very calm bees though. They actually ran up the side of the nuc to get inside.
Everything was going so nicely, then she got me through the veil! This one even made my teeth hurt.