2015 Honeybee Removal Information

Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2015

If you are in need of having a honeybee swarm picked up, or a full colony of bees removed from a structure – please see the following links for my contact information:  (These same links are in the top menu bar on this website as well.)

Removal Information:
http://rex.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=2

Frequently asked questions (and my answers):
http://rex.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=512

Swarm Season / Too Much Rain

I do not think that in 45 years, I have ever seen as much rain as we have received here in North Texas over the last two months.  Too much rain can be detrimental to our agriculture.

Besides the obvious problem of erosion of our topsoil, there are other problems with too much rain.  When rain falls over fields of blooming flowers, it can wash out the nectar from the flowers, leaving hungry pollinators.  Generally at this time of year, the bees have an excess of nectar that they are bringing into their hives.  But with a shortage of nectar, there is a serious possibility of starvation.  Yes – even with all the rain and flowers… that does not mean that there is available nectar for them to forage upon.

Below are pictures of bees that swarmed recently to a crape myrtle tree.   They settled on a branch about 5′ off the ground, and sat long enough to build 2 smallish pieces of comb under their cluster.  The homeowner called and I responded within the hour to remove the swarm from their back yard.

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Storm-Downed Tree – Honeybee Removal

A neighbor took some good photos whilst I was removing bees from the downed tree last Sunday evening. They were pretty defensive to start with – but as soon as I puffed a little smoke – they settled down. No tags taken, though the homeowner had taken a few earlier in the day. They are now recovering in the bee-yard. Another beekeeper was called – and he referred them to me for the removal. (and yes – it was a mess in there since the limb/trunk had fallen about 12′ to the ground – so I donned the rubber gloves for the honey mess)

The comb, while BEAUTIFULLY filled with the queen’s brood – had all been crushed in the fall.  So – unfortunately, any remaining eggs/larvae was not salvageable in case the queen had not made it in the removal.

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Bee Yard Inspection and Class

During today’s bee-class, we went through several established hives as well as a few hives that have been recently brought in from removals from people’s homes.

Wall-to-wall brood! This beautiful queen has been hard at work – laying eggs wall-to-wall in her domain. This is going to be a great queen to be a source for larvae to graft into future queens for hive expansion.

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Rainy Day Removal – Deck

These bees were living in a 16″ wide joist-space under the back porch deck at a local condominium. Unfortunately, it was an overcast and rainy morning – so while the removal DID go smoothly – the bees let me know that they were displeased with being exposed to the rainy elements today. They had a good amount of honey, and the queen is a beaut! Once the comb was put into the frames – the bees readily came into the box – and the queen was easily located.

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Something’s Squirrelly!

Unexpected Removal (1st of 2 today)…This spot has had bees in the past (years ago) – and about 3 weeks ago – the homeowner noticed bee activity again. They were referred to me for the removal – so with the height – I borrowed scaffolding from another beekeeper. Once I got up there – it was curious – that no bees came out to meet me. None. Zip.. Zilch… I’m betting that they had scout bees checking the place out. I went ahead and opened up the previously opened soffit area – and 4 very tiny baby squirrels dropped down onto me. Quite startling! The homeowner went ahead and hired me to do some other work/maintenance around their home to try to ensure that there would be no further squirrely intrusions.

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Aggie Bees – Dynamite Shed

The Dallas Texas Master Gardener program (Texas A&M University) is taking over a new (to them) property – but an old dynamite shed on the land has had honeybees in the walls of it – off and on – for the last 25-30 years. After being called out to evaluate the situation, and starting the removal this morning – it was evident that (a) the hive had recently swarmed. and (b) the new queen (if there was one) had not laid ANY eggs yet. There was some emerging drone brood in the hive, but NO worker brood or freshly laid eggs or larvae. The population of the hive was LOW – and there were a LOT of drones. I presumed at that point that there was not a queen present. I removed all the comb, and started vacuuming bees. Afterwards, I was placing lids on my buckets of old comb, and saw a queen! I went through the bucket looking for her – and eventually found her. Not too big – maybe freshly mated. I’m leaving her in a nuc with attendants overnight to collect up the remainder of the flying bees – and they’ll make it to the farm tomorrow afternoon.

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Oasis Cafe – Emergency Swarm Call

Morning coffee at The Oasis Cafe after an emergency bee swarm response in their parking lot.

 

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Friendly Bees – Removal

These bees have occupied this space for about 10 days. Even though it was a rainy morning, these ladies were gentle (no stings) and have a LOT of brood and nectar. Looking forward to seeing how they fare at the farm.

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Whole Foods – Public Appearance

Talking about our beneficial pollinators today at Whole Foods at Forest/Preston from 12-3.

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The Blind Butcher – Swarm

Doing our part to keep our pollinators safe – at The Blind Butcher.

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