Friday, May 7, 2010

Bring on the Bees

Cindy and our neighbor Marsha were standing at the fence solving the worlds problems when over by our driveway they spotted what they described as looking like a swarm of gnats or maybe flies, looked kind of yellow but wasn’t enough of a sight to interrupt the discussion.

Later in the day Cindy and I were sitting on the porch when she got up to look at one of the new honeysuckle vines we had planted, she said it looked something like maybe a clump of dried grass had blown up against the fence next to the vine, this clump of dried grass turned out to be a swarm of bees actually gathering on the vine, it started out as a small swarm which soon turned out a bit larger and seemed to be going no where.
Cindy locked our sidekick Dixie and her Dads dog Buttons on the porch where they couldn’t go to inspect this growing swarm, Dixie would have tried to take a bite out of them and Buttons would have lifted a leg to which either would not have produced a good result, the swarm now looked like a football and still seemed to be growing.

After a few calls we found Brian the live bee removal expert, he is a beekeeper who owns a lot of hives I am told, he said he would come and take a look, OK we have a beekeeper on the way this evening so now we just have to wait. Our nephew Andrew who is a fireman comes by for a visit and gives the swarm a look, he tells us of the calls he has received at the fire department from people wanting them to remove swarms of bees, I never would have thought to call the fire department for bees, maybe a kitten in a tree but not bees, Andrew told me not to call the fire department because they don’t do bees, he suggested maybe sucking them up in a shop vac to which I am thinking this just might work, I asked if this was possible without getting myself stung he thought for a minute and said I am not sure it would probably be risky, so I opted to wait for the beekeeper because he should have a better idea than this.
We had supper and at about 6:00 PM after dinner we decided it was evening so we called Brian back to see if he was coming, the response was Yes I’ll be there I just have to wait for the bees to settle down for the evening and for all of them to come in, I will be there he assured us and at about 9:00 PM we were giving up when the phone rang, it was Brian the Live Bee Removal service who said he would be there in ten minutes.

Now I am looking for this big truck with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction or either a station wagon looking like the vehicle from Ghostbusters with all kinds of tanks and ray guns that blow bee stopping smoke to knock them down and then suck them up into the tanks, this was going to be impressive when all of a sudden we have this Maroon Chevy Caviler type car backing into the driveway, this was about 9:20PM so it was way after dark and this man looking a bit older than me gets out of the car introducing himself as Brian.

I am waiting for the High Tech equipment to come out of this car and the most high tech piece I could see was the GPS unit laying on his front seat that explained how he had found us so easy without asking for directions. He examined the now Basketball size swarm and opens his trunk, OK now for the big guns so to say I am thinking, he reaches in and slowly brings out a wooden box, he opens the hood of his car and then opens the box, I am still waiting because this is going to be impressive, out he takes a corded piece with alligator clips, dials and plugs which he hooks to the battery and then brings out a red dome which is attached to the top of the box, inside the box is another wooden box about a foot by two foot with a screened front and a hole in the bottom that has a swivel door to close it off, this box is laid into the larger box and a hose is slid into both from the outside, he attaches the dome to the top and closes and seals the lid, he puts on a beekeepers hood and gloves, plugs the cord into the device attached to his battery with a large spark flying he then asks us to turn off all outside lights, with only a small flashlight he explains that the dome is the top from a Wal-Mart Shop Vac and proceeds to vacuum the swarm into the wooden box, I was standing right there and was thinking maybe Andrew was right about the shop vac idea, all of the bees were sucked into the box and after the high tech deed was done he explained that the estimate was about 5000 bees, he had one walking on his neck which I pointed out, he simply grabbed it and dropped it by his feet, now he has a wooden box with a screened front full of bees and he drops one on the ground, I inquired what about that one, he said he wont go anywhere he will be coming with me, the bee then crawled onto the box and settled down on the screen.

Brian picks up the box and is telling us all about bee hives and bees while he is holding this box against his chest with both arms around it, I am thinking about this loose bee crawling around on this box, I thought I could feel them crawling all over my legs which turned out to be my imagination, I say what about that bee he says like I said before he will be coming with me, right now he is on the back of the box with another bee, he turns the box around to show us two bees sitting in the corner of a small piece of screen looking like they were wanting inside.

If you are in Southern California and need any bees removed call Brian’s Bee Removal Service he may show up way after dark but the bees will be going with him.
Yellow Swarm settling onto your new plants-----not much thought given.

Basketball size swarm buzzing in your front yard---hair stands on the back of your neck.

Imaginary bees crawling up your legs----creates dance moves you didn’t know you knew.

5000 Bees in a box and two more wanting to go along for the ride---Priceless.


  1. Generally, when bees swarm like that it is because an existing hive has grown too big, so there is a mass exodus of part of the hive, along with a new queen. Somewhere in the center of that mass of bees will be the queen.
    Before they swarm, they all fill up with so much honey that they usually either can't or won't sting... so you are probably safe....but still, I couldn't help but be afraid of that many bees.

  2. Wowzer! Very interesting... glad it was at your place.

  3. Awesome post. I would have freaked out! I'm glad you didn't try the shop vac yourself...that could have so gone wrong. That is a lot of bees. Cool pics. My father knows a bee keeper who keeps a few boxes at the edge of my dad's garden where he has some apple trees. I don't mess with them!

  4. How funny my girlfriend just went through the same things with the bees but they were inside of her house One time my brother had a hive in their fire place. They way they found out was that honey started dripping through the ceiling. Too bad you can't eat the honey!!

  5. Hey Joe,

    Interesting facts my friend, we have learned a lot about bees last couple days, I am like you still have to fear that many at one time.

  6. Ms A,

    It was pretty neat getting a look at them up close but even better when they left :)

  7. Thank You Suzicate,

    I thought it was funny that we had joked about using a shop vac and ended up the power part of the beekeepers equipment was actually a shop vac.

    I agree it probably would have gone wrong had I tried it, I really don't like messing with them either.

  8. Hey Susie,

    She could have used our guy too, he claims to cover all of Southern California, I can just see the honey dripping from the ceiling would have to sit a jar below just in case :^)

  9. Wow, that is so awesome! But man the size of that swarm is crazy!

  10. HOLY COW!!!!

    As I was reading this, I got the heebie-geebies thinking about those BEES!!!

    "like the vehicle from Ghostbusters with all kinds of tanks and ray guns that blow bee stopping smoke to knock them down and then suck them up into the tanks."


    When I was just a kid, I got stung on the hand by several bees at one time during a Fourth of July family picnic, and let me tell was PAINFUL!#?!

    So glad to hear that Brian the Beebuster came to the rescue!

    Great post, my friend!

    I swear, I always learn the most interesting stuff from your blog posts!

    Have a grrrreat weekend, bud!

  11. Hey Melissa,

    That was pretty amazing to see that many bees in such a small place.

  12. Talk about heebie-geebies Ron,

    You should have been standing in the dark behind him watching the bee vaccuming going on I just knew they were walking up my legs and you just can't see that in the dark Ha Ha

    It was pretty impressive to see how this works, I never would have dreamed it was so easy---not easy enough for me to try though.

  13. Jimmy, that was a great post. Also very interesting. I can't even remember how many times I've been stung in my life. Usually, it was from stepping on them while not wearing shoes.

  14. Thank You Pat,

    Worst one I remember was getting stung right on top of my right ear the day before pictures were made my sophomore year, yes sir that was some picture.

  15. We had a lot of bees this year when the peach tree was blooming, but nothing like the size of that! Did they damage your new plant?

    I would have ran inside and danced all over the place. I'm getting the willies just thinking about it!

  16. Hey Kimberly,

    Getting killed coulda ruined my whole day huh

  17. Heather,

    It was pretty impressive, no damage at all just a good lesson in how bees work, and a few new dance steps Ha Ha


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