Bee Removal Is a Fascinating Operation
Last Friday as we were leaving for the weekend we noticed a number of bees flying around a corner of our yard in north Poway,California. When we returned Sunday afternoon it was evident that the bees had taken up residence in a small plastic compost bin in a corner of the yard. On Monday, I called Geoff Kipps-Bolton of San Diego Bees and he came over Tuesday afternoon to remove the bees (on my birthday, coincidentally).
I expected a full scale production with bee suit, smoke, and lots of complicated maneuvers. Instead, dressed only in shorts and t-shirt, Geoff walked up to the bin and gingerly opened the top a bit and peered in. He said he could not see any evidence of a honeycomb yet. He went to his truck and pulled out a bee box and set it on top of the compost bin, tilting the back up slightly. He explained the bees like to crawl up hill. He then opened the lid of the bin, and the bees simply started crawling into the box. He occasionally sprayed them with a bit of water to make them think it was raining and to seek shelter. In 25 minutes or so almost all the bees had crawled into the bee box. A few stragglers were encouraged with the smoke device. He sealed the entrance temporarily with some plastic foam so they could be transported.
Geoff said that the bees would be taken to a rural area like an avocado orchard where they can carry out their business. He said the bees left behind, because they were out foraging, would eventually return to the hive from where the swarm originated. As far as I could tell, not a single bee stung him.
So for my 61st birthday I had an entertaining and fascinating experience watching the removal of the bees. Geoff did a great job and explained a lot about the bees and their behavior as he carried out his task, and I am glad they were not destroyed and will carry out their proper role pollinating avocados or some other fruit.
Definitely call a bee keeper to remove a problem swarm or hive, not a pest control company that will kill them.
Bob in Poway
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