Bee on my privet

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pole Bees

 I got a call a couple of weeks ago about some bees in a fence post.  Actually I was told I could come get a hive of bees. I was thinking "Great! A hive of bees free for the taking". After talking to the guy I begin to realize that it is not going to be so easy after all.
 Apparently they are beginning construction on this land soon for a youth athletics park. Just inside the fence is an old gate. A gate the likes of which they do not make anymore. Why don't they make them anymore? Because they don't need to. The ones they made are all still in service. Even the one with the bees in it still works. I think it was for a rail road bed but I am not sure. None the less, this is the heartiest gate post I have ever witnessed.

As you can plainly see, this is not your average gate post. It harkens to the great gate posts of yore.
 I went out one night a few weeks ago to size this thing up. There are tons of bees in it. It is a thriving colony. It is also surrounded by Chinese tallow and all kinds of wild trees and plants.
 My first thought was to cover all the holes then connect a box to the top hole with a short length of hose and slowly fill the post with water and then just take the bees. I am not sure if would even work honestly. I then thought of a bee vac. Again due to the nature of the hive, I did not think it was going to work. A trap out might work but I am pretty sure more bees would move in next spring(As a matter of fact, I might see if I can put traps out there next spring.) plus I would then need a frame of brood and such to get that colony going.
 So then I hatch a plan, a crazy plan, that involved some really big tools. I would cut it off and just take the whole thing home and work from there.
 Last night I traveled to the site. I figured I would just screen the openings and cut the gate off. At that point I would start cutting the pole off at the base and just leave a couple of places to hold up the pole and I would slide screen in there and then finish off the cut. Well when we got there I swear the post grew like 40% or more. I don't remember it being so big. I started clearing around the post waiting for dark to fall so the bees would go in the post and I could screen it over. Well either it is just too hot for the bees or that pole is really full. They would not leave the outside of the pole. They were bearding heavily and also looked like they were washboarding. I think they were laughing at me personally.
 As it got darker we started questioning whether or not we would even be able to get the post in the truck without mechanical help. After I finally got stung once ( I was wearing shorts and a t shirt, my usual bee keeping outfit) as I kept hitting the post with the shovel and I had a very bright headlamp on. I suppose I would have been aggravated as well. I decided that maybe I should have brought some bee keeping hardware.
 We head home beeless. After sitting pondering how to move this thing, I get a few ideas. I have a gurney that I can roll around with a chain fall on it. It has decent size wheels on it but not off road stuff. I figure I could set it up over the hive on some boards and when I have the hive lifted we could just make a plank roadway to the truck. That would require some intensive manual labor and a lot of tree chopping and a few logs needed to be clear.
 As I was pondering this, I notice a name on my Facebook list. Hmmmmmm This guy has a track hoe. I wonder if he feels like going on a bee crusade? I hit him up and sure enough for a nominal fee (he has to pay a driver to get the machine out there) he would gladly load it in my truck with the track hoe. Yay! Hydraulics!
 So aside from some really detailed scouting and a little clearing around the hive I did not accomplish much last night. Well my doctor might argue that all the exercise did me good. Personally Louisiana humidity is pretty rough and I would have rather had the kids do all the digging.
 As soon as I get a schedule together, I will make a new post hopefully detailing the successful transplant of this very active colony.
 Till that fateful day,

1 comment:

  1. Going for pole bees tonight
    Gather your insurance folks
    dah, dah, da, daahhhhh