Bee Rescue from Water Service Hole

An email came in saying that there are bees that need to be rescued before they get sprayed as the water company need access. We were booked tight this weekend but Saturday afternoon we found a couple of hours to save these bees and glad we did.

The email originally said water meter but it turned out to be a water service hole. Inside there’s a valve to turn off the main water to somewhere. The lid was heavy to lift off. When we arrived around 2:30 PM we found a lot of entrance activity.

When we lifted the cover here’s what we came up with. Nice comb sections doing down the cylinder. Good thing the combs didn’t break off and fall into the “pit” because there wouldn’t be a way for us to retrieve them as it was too deep to reach. The colony has been there for I would have to guess 3 months or so.

The bees have started to back-fill the brood area with honey. Looks like the bees are now planning for the cold months ahead though it is only August. But this colony didn’t have much honey, probably around 5 pounds of honey only. They still have time but not much. Preparation of honey stores start as early as the beginning of the Summer.

Some comb sections were stuck to the side which we were able to retrieve without dropping. There is a good size population. None of the nearby neighbors were home at the time of the bee relocation but finally found a construction crew working at a house down the street to borrow some electricity for the bee vac. It’s much easier to remove the comb sections when there are less bees on there. It also minimized casualties. Before we could finish the construction crew had to unplug us because they had to leave. We found another neighbor who just came home to borrow a little more power to complete the job.

Here’s the beautiful large golden queen. After we lifted the cover and went to prepare for the bee vac, while I was putting the hoses together my dad found and caught the queen. That was just about 5 minutes after we opened up the cover. Catching the queen this early one made the job much much faster.

Thanks Claudia for calling us again to save more honey bees!

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