First rescue of 2012

We have been contacted by a family in Mill Valley. They have a colony in the roof of their children’s tree house. Seems they wanted some tree work done and the tree people said “Get Rid Of the Bees!” and then they contact us. Most times folks don’t even know they have a colony…all to frequently they honeybees will be just doing fine…thank you very much…with no problems…then along comes man and they want to change something.
Then it’s, “Oh, please get rid of the bees!”…and here we are again! I will say that bee rescue is quite a satisfying thing to do. I read once, years ago, that as a beekeeper, I would end up doing things and going places where ” most sane folks” would go any where near! We are going to use the trip to finish up other other Marin County extraction finished up. I will of course, have my handy cameras to take lots of photos…These new fangled things that make life comfortable can be handy to us old timers once in a while!
When we take the bees back to Sebastopol there will be a very dangerous period of adjustment for the bees. I will probably do extra to help these girls along. It is the middle of the winter after all!

Here we are and we did save the colony. Turns out the bees moved in during the summer so although they were established at least they didn’t have a lot of comb. I had more trouble ripping up the rotted roofing material than with the bees themselves. Once I set up I fairly quickly vacuumed the bees into a screened box.
Here I am standing on the ladder and working the roof. I worked about 30 minutes and then with Jackie’s help, brought down the comb section by section to be placed in our transport box. Although Jackie got stung once handling the comb, I did not get stung until we finished and had reboxed the girls back at Bloomfield. I am waiting to see if the queen survived…warmer weather.