Monday, May 20, 2013

Blessed Bees


Four members of the club answered the call to help rescue a hive of bees at the Bethany Church School in Long Beach.  Jaime had checked it out the previous day with the time honored bee location method – an ear to the wall – and heard loud buzzing across several feet.  
 
Surely it had to be a huge hive but things with bees aren’t always – actually hardly ever – what they seem.  The bees were in the outside wall at the very top of a narrow staircase leading to the second floor.  With the help of Dan, the head of maintenance for the church, we located the hive by drilling a few test holes until comb was visible. 
 
 
The room quickly filled with bees and dust as the comb was exposed.  Oddly there did not seem to be all that many bees on the panes of comb which were large and almost pure white; obviously new comb.  It was filled with lots of healthy brood but virtually no stores.   Once we reached the ceiling header we could not continue.
 
Our suspicion was that there was more to the hive than met the eye.  It was very possible that the majority of bees and older comb were in the attic to which we did not have access other than to cut into the roof.   At that point we came to a consensus decision that it was a job for pros and we reluctantly let Dan know that we had to withdraw.  Fully suited and a rescue veteran of a few hours, he later accessed the attic but did not find the expected large numbers of bees or any comb.  At least we had a box of healthy brood and enough bees to support it.  Hopefully there will be a potential queen.   The mystery continues – Stay tuned. Barbara, Jaime, Dick, Howard and Dan
 
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