Busy Bees

Chip and Laura take care of the farm next door. The owners do not live there full time. Laura was cleaning in the house and heard something funny. She put her ear against the wall and heard bees. After some discussion it was decided that the bees were living between the ceiling of a first floor room and the floor of a second floor. Laura and Chip have bees on their farm

The other WWOOFers and I were told that the bees would be sucked out of the house the next day if we wanted to come watch. Of course we wanted to watch.

We were met at the neighbor’s farm by a sweet couple that do bee relocation. Yep, you read that correctly. They collect the bees from places where they are unwanted and relocate them to someplace they are wanted and where the bees will hopefully survive and decide to call home.

There is a science behind this that is amazing. The re-locators had a shop vac and they could suck the bees in, except that it was decided that the hive was too big for that.

This gentleman was removing the cedar siding from the house trying to discover exactly where the bees were hanging out. He was barefoot and was wearing no bee protective gear.

This is Chad, one of the WWOOFers, getting a close up picture of the hive.

Left to right you see Chris, another WWOOFer, the bee guy, the bee guy’s wife and Chip. In the back of the truck is the bee box (I am sure it has an official name) where the hive layers will be relocated. On the right side of the picture you can see the shop vac hose.

The bees were very calm as the outside wall panels were removed. I braved a trip up the ladder for a closer look. The hive filled the space between the ceiling and floor.

This is the bee guy using a knife around the edge of the hive preparing to remove a layer. The bees were becoming a tad bit excited. At this point I am thinking, “Can you say CRAZY?”

The first layer removed he heads down the ladder. His wife wants to help get the layer down. Okay, did I say….Crazy? The bees are beginning to get riled up, but you can see that many of them are clinging to home.

Now the layer is being trimmed to fit in a frame that will be placed in the bee box. Once the piece is laid in the frame two large rubber bands were put around the frame to hold the layer in place. (If you happen to know all the correct lingo, please let me know.)

There were 16 layers, but after three layers and a bee sting on my cheek I headed back to the bunkhouse. Poor Chad had a bee sting him right under his eye. We heard later that the bee man and Chip had several stinger encounters.

All in a day on the farm!!!

It appears that the queen settled in the bee box and the bees may have a chance of lasting through the winter. They are now hanging out with the Spencer bees. Chip said that the bees have a hard go of it as there is not much in the area that flowers in the summer because of the heat.

This was one bzzzzzy day.

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