Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

Another Day in the Bee Mines

   Yesterday I rescued a swarm that had been four or five days in a purple leaved tree in front of a house down in San Clemente.
   Just after that I was headed back north when my boss called (interesting side note, I set the contact photo for him on my phone as the eye of souron, so you must picture that displaying on my phone whenever he calls me) telling me to stand by down there. I happened to be driving past the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano at that moment, and I'd been meaning to stop in and see how the hive I'd helped them set up was, so I did so. I went through the hive and unfortunately it wasn't doing as well as I would like. I was just saying that I'd combine it with another hive if they had one but they don't ... when I realized I had bees on my truck!!

   So I turned the lid upside down and dumped the bees on it. It took awhile to find the queen but I had time. I found her twice but both times she evaded my attempts to grab her by a wing. It wasn't until the eye of souron called me back and told me to return to the office that I saw her one more time as I lifted the lid, and successfully nabbed her (thus enabling me to add these bees to the existing hive without introducing a second queen, which might lead to the death of their marked bred queen). During this process though I had noted that her daughters were all extremely docile and, while even africanized bees might be docile in a swarm, they were also not at all crawly, a better sign that these bees might not be very africanized. So I kept the queen and hoped I'd find a use for her.

   This morning I had a call down at Doheny State Beach. Once I got there I learned that they've been going with some "bee saver" because they don't want to kill any bees, and, you know, my company is the big bad company that kills bees.
   Well it turns out their "bee saver" had been out last week to "save" some bees, by which they mean they sealed the hole in the cinderblock wall in which the bees were living, so the bees could slowly die inside. But they still had a lot of bees clustered on the outside, which would just wait to slowly die there, as well as another cluster of bees which I suppose were also displaced refugee bees, that had clustered on a maintenance cart. They'd called their usual "bee saver" but he was busy or they couldn't get ahold of him so they had to resort to the big bad man: me.

   Anyway, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that simply entombing bees by sealing their entrance neither saves them nor is it by any means the most humane way of putting them down. My company gets a lot of flack because we don't save all the bees, but the sad fact is I'm pretty sure all the "bee savers" are pulling shenanigans like this when they can't be bothered to deconstruct a cinder block wall to get the bees out. The difference between us and them is that we don't lie to people, and when we have to put bees down we do it effectively and humanely.
   Anyway, so there's this cluster of bees on a cart without a queen. And what do I have? I happen to have a queen in my truck that I'd like set up with some bees!! So I put her in the container in the bee vac and then vacuum up the rest of the cluster.

   At the end of the day today I inserted the queen cage (she's still doing alright in there) into a hive box with the rest of her new bees. Its still plugged with steel wool (I didn't have any candy on me this time), but I'll go back there in two or three days and let her out, by then they should all feel at home and like family.

   Unrelated to the above chain of events, I showed up at another call today where the guy informed me "three bees went into my vent, and I think one is still in there," and I successfully kept a straight face. If he wants to throw $150 at me for three bees that's his business. These girls are worth their weight in gold*!

(actually I just looked it up, those three bees are worth ten times the value of gold)

Tags: bee busters, beekeeping, bees

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