Gumption Trap

The Beekeep approaches the removal while all of his companions, fainting from hunger, looked on. The hum from the hive intensifies slightly, as the guard bees go on alert. The hot sun beats down on the unshaded heads of the travelers standing in the field. The beekeep sets his shoulders to the task, and beginsContinue reading “Gumption Trap”

Pushing them too far

After working with mean honeybees for a couple of weeks straight, I really wanted a nice, simple, friendly interaction with bees to restore my confidence. A sting or two is ok and expected, especially with a removal where you are taking the bees out of their home and away from their resources. It makes sense.Continue reading “Pushing them too far”

Straightforward. Yeah, right.

“WHY would I use the word ‘straightforward’ in ANY sentence involving beehive removal work??” I stared at the wall, hoping solutions would appear.  Solutions failed to appear.  I stared some more.  Solutions persisted in their absence. The job was supposed to be relatively straightforward.  My boss at the Corps had a hive that had shownContinue reading “Straightforward. Yeah, right.”

Love on the Battlefield

The setting of the National Cemetery at the Vicksburg National Military Park is one of the most peaceful ones imaginable.  The rolling loess hillside, graves in neat rows, each section terraced to provide a continuity among the gathered dead.  Oak trees, expanded to their full canopied width.  Magnificent magnolia trees, filled with heady blossoms.  AncientContinue reading “Love on the Battlefield”

Recent Arrival

“How long has the hive been there?” Whenever I am answering a request to do a honeybee hive removal for someone, I have a series of questions I ask.  Did you spray them?  How high are they?  Are they aggressive?  Are they getting inside? I just added the question above to my list, because theContinue reading “Recent Arrival”

Pretender to the Throne

She has no claim on this throne, but she went in, nevertheless. 2 queens, 2 cages, 3 nurse bees to help out.  $37.50 each. Last Saturday, I bought a nucleus hive and two queens from my mentor.  (A recent flood had taken out a bunch of his ‘nucs’, and he only had one that heContinue reading “Pretender to the Throne”

The Beverly Carol – a B&B&B

It seems as though working at heights is my go-to job now.  Once again, I had a bee removal effort in Vicksburg, where the elevation of the job just gave me pause. The entrance to this hive at the Beverly Carol – a historic home in the downtown area of Vicksburg,  was high on theContinue reading “The Beverly Carol – a B&B&B”

Duff Green Removal, Part 2 (Or How I learned to avoid the sting and love the bomb.)

So most of the time, when I get a call to remove bees, it is because the bees have begun to migrate inside the house.Not this time. This was the second hive removal from Duff Green, and the one that I was most worried about.  With the first removal, I was able to stand, kneel,Continue reading “Duff Green Removal, Part 2 (Or How I learned to avoid the sting and love the bomb.)”

Taking, Pried In my Work, with a Stinging Postscript

Back at it. (If you just want to read about me getting stung repeatedly, skip to that part of the story at the bottom of the entry, under follow-up:) I was determined today to remove the eave bracket and get at the honeybees inside.  Suited up, grabbed the crowbar, and started crowbarring. The first partContinue reading “Taking, Pried In my Work, with a Stinging Postscript”

First Job – FAIL (for the moment)

Last Monday I set aside the time to remove the bees from Duff Green.  Quick in, quick out, two hives of bees to relocate. The result was awful. An unmitigated failure. The space is not enough to get the hydraulic lift in, said Harley.  But, she said, we have some really long ladders – 60′Continue reading “First Job – FAIL (for the moment)”

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