Some times you have to wonder what people are thinking. This was a house that was going on the market, but they had bees in the ceiling. The agent kept asking me if I would do it for free, I kept telling her no. So she had us come do the job. While we were on the way she texted me and told me the inside painters were also working in the house! I could not believe it. The painting crew was professional so we worked it out, but we had to wait an hour before we could get started. Then the crew chief kept asking when we were going to be done.
Humans are so good to bees. They build these boxes in the ground, put covers with a hole in it and then go away for a long time. We remove bees from irrigation boxes all of the time. With all of the new timers and moisture sensors the landscaper doesn’t need to go back for a long time. That was the case with these girls. They had been there for about 8 months the way the hive and color of the comb looked. The problem with this one was that the comb went every which way, so it was hard for Penny to get it into the frames. I’m so glad she likes puzzles and can get it done quickly.
I have said before that when doing removals I come across some interesting places. The guy called and said he had bees in a truck toolbox. He didn’t tell me it was an old military vehicle. He said the vehicle was stored at a riding club/stables at Barbers Point. As we drove I saw the old storage areas that were built durning WW2. These used to house planes and equipment, and protected them from bombing and strafing. The guy restored military vehicles, he even had an amphibious landing craft. The bees were not that hard to get out, except that it was a bit hard to get into all the little nooks and crannies they had built their comb
If you look closely you will see the grey cart in the background. The bees covered the entire bottom of the cart. I was only able to get a side picture of them. The man who owned the house had a lot of history to tell. He told about the area and about the different people that lived there. He used to own a tofu factory. His grandfather had started it and they were 3 years short of 100 years in business when he decided to close. He told me stories of how he and his brothers would go door to door selling the tofu. He said they learned their lesson one day. They thought it would be fun to throw rocks at some bee hives a customer had. The bees came out in force and they got stung. They never did it again. It is sad to think when he dies that history will be lost.
The woman’s daughter called from California and said that her mother in Hawaii had bees. I went to remove them. They were in a box she used as an accent on her patio. There were a lot of bees and they were hard to get out. I give everyone the same speech when I remove bees. I tell them that there will be bees there for about 1 week. After I was done I asked for payment. The woman said she wasn’t going to pay me because there were still bees flying around. We argued a bit, then she tells me that I destroyed her prize orchid. I was working on the other side of the patio from the orchid. I finally told her that she expected a miracle, but it wasn’t going to happen. We resolved things.
The people are selling the house and needed the bees removed from under the shed. This is a metal shed without any tree cover. The day we started removing them was so hot! The humidity was way up and being in the shed was like an oven. We had to cut a 4X4 foot hole in the floor to get them. We took home 32 pounds of honey from this hive. We filled all five frames of the nuc
About two years ago a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal guy called and said he wanted to keep bees, could I help him get some. I could and did. He placed them at the EOD range where he worked. Being in the Navy he moved, and someone else took them over. That guy moved and no one took them over and they just sat. I got a call the other day from the Navy EOD commander, he asked if I could help remove some bees. He explained that one of his guys was keeping them and then left. He told me the guys name and I just had to laugh. We went to collect them. One hive was empty, but the other two were packed! They had brood, honey and all of the frames filled out. We moved them and they are doing fine.
The guy called and said he had bees under his outdoor bar on his patio. His son was making lei’s and he thought maybe that attracted them. I assured him that that wasn’t the case. When we got there he told us he was a Sargent in the police. I asked him why he didn’t just arrest them for trespassing. He said that trying to get the fingerprints off of that many bees just wasn’t worth the hassle. There was a little bit of comb so they had planned on staying for a while.
One thing about doing this type of work is you meet friendly people most times. That was the case with these people. They had never seen a swarm, and were very curious about the process. I told them what they wanted to know. Reaching the palm frond was a bit of a stretch but I was able to get them down.
She said the swarm was in a bush not very high up. When I got there I saw they were in a bushy tree about 7 feet up. During swarm season I drive my Toyota, and carry my bee stuff with me. However I can’t carry a ladder so I borrowed a step ladder and shook them into my bucket. They were ready to move! Most of them settled down right away and I got most of them.