I Did It: Saving a Hive

One of the big campaigns this year is Pollinators. Coincidently enough, I had bees! These were obviously honey bees, and they loved my house.

I started my research and began making phone calls. I soon realized that there was a lot of conflicting information out there between the price variations to "take care" of the bees (mafia style), to the scare of Africanized bees, and not to mention the new hybrid between the two. I spoke to a college, exterminators, Farm Markets, and the local beekeepers association. The majority of them wanted to just come and cut out a piece of my house, dig the entire comb out, and hope for the best. This sounded almost as bad as the spray that would kill all of the bees. I even tried spraying peppermint oil and Tabasco sauce around the area to make it unappealing to no avail. These bees were very happy right where they were.

Every day that went by, their sweet little bee community was growing. I was desperate and ready to pay big bucks for their "relocation." Finally I found a beekeeper that cared more for the bees than the money. He actually said these words: "It makes me so sad every time a bee dies, I want to make it a little casket."

So he got all geared up and I got comfortable. I sat and watched his dance with these amazing creatures for 2 ½ hours. It was like the swaying of waves in the ocean. He was talking to them and they were listening, sometimes. He did not cut out a chunk of my home. Instead, he drilled a few holes and delicately used smoke to ease them out. He then gathered them into one area and scooped, literally scooped them, into his box. We waited and the cloud grew smaller as the frenzy slowed and they figured out where to go.

It was amazing. I was within 10' of the entire process and much closer at times. These awesome little beings did not come near me. They didn't need to; they had their own business to attend to. We are now bee free and they have moved on to greener pastures. I have big plans. I'm going to work with the beekeeper, help out and get to know the process, as well as setting up my own hive. This time the location will be my choice.

Photo Credit: Christina Biggert

Written by: Christina Biggert