Great America’s Newest Thrill Ride – 20 Feet Vertical Bee Removal

There’s a new thrill ride at California’s Great America. It’s 20 feet up and to add to the excitement it has a few thousand stinging bees. Actually it’s a colony of honey bees at Great America and they are very nice and gentle honey bees. Nothing for any park visitors to fear about but better if we removed them safely.

Received a call on Tuesday from Randy at Great America. I thought it had something to do with my season pass but I was surprised it was for bee removal. Jim at Clark Pest Control didn’t want to spray the bees and asked Randy to find a local beekeeper, and that’s how it all started.

Schedule for the bee removal nice and early at 7 AM before the park opens at 10 AM. It was a nice cool foggy morning so the majority of the bees were just waking up. The crew met my dad and I and we followed them towards the external colony of bees that built on a tree branch. The branch hangs near the exit path of the thrill ride The Demon.

We didn’t have to climb any ladders today. We got the help from a buff manlift operated by Great America’s Jose.

Manuevering the manlift up the exit of the Demon. This manlift had a reach of about 40 feet, a little too much for our bee removal today but it worked out great – more is better than less in this situation.

Once up above we started to trim the branches around the hive until it was clear. Then it was one cut into the large branch holding the combs.

And here comes the colony of honey bees.

We placed the entire colony with branch attached into a cardboard box. We purposely cut the branch longer so we can hang the combs in place and won’t get crushed.

The photo below of us with Jose was set up and posed at ground level as this manlift was designed for only two adutls. And at this point we already took off our safety harnesses.

We had to finish the job at home since we couldn’t possibly cutout and hive the bees at Great America when there will be thousands of visitors in a couple of hours. The bees at home in a homemade hive since we ran out of solid bottom boards and covers… again!

Cutting out the combs and framing them. The rubberbands are there to hold the combs in position before the bees secure them to the frame.

And lastly, here’s the queen bee. She’s large and long.

Thanks Randy for calling us to save the honey bees at Great America. And thank you Jim of Clark Pest Control for not spraying the precious bees and asking Randy to call us.

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