Rescuing Bees from Trash and Compost Bins
We return today to Texas Beeworks, based in Austin, Texas. The owner is Erika Thompson who has been making a string of short and incredibly educational videos about bees and rescuing them in the past few years.
We’ve been huge fans of Erika and her company for a couple of years, and the incredible way she can save the bees. Here was our original post about her.
Today we look at two quite new videos she has posted.
In the first 1:05-minute video called Rescuing Bees from the Bottom of a Trash Bin, she was contacted and asked to remove bees from this trash can.
Note her special connection to bees. She doesn’t wear protective beekeeping clothing, and she uses her bare hands to scoop bees and drop them into the new hive home she provided for them. She does not encourage others to go without protective clothing.
First, she rescued pieces of the comb that the bees had worked so hard to create and placed them in the new hive she brought along for them.
Is it just a fluke that she found the queen bee in the first scoop of bees she picked up? She is so attuned to bees, maybe it was a stroke of luck that she scooped from the area where the queen was located. She put the queen into the new hive, and that made it so much easier and faster for the bees to all move into their new home.
Compost bins like the one in this video are one of the main places that Erika is called to remove bees. The reason, she says, is that they are perfectly sized for a hive, and offer protection from the elements and insulation. Even the ventilation holes are the perfect size for bees to come and go and offer ideal hive protection for this reason.
The second 10:51-minute video is called Compost Bin Full of Bees and is longer, but well worth the watch.
First, she smoked the bees to soothe them. Then she had to cut through the propolis seal that the bees had created, because the bin had been half open and half closed. Inside the bin was a most beautiful hive. Erika started shifting the comb over to the new hive she brought to relocate the colony, explaining that it is important to separate the brood comb from the honeycomb.
Once she had removed all the comb, it was time to get the bees to enter their new hive. She had not found the queen yet. She started to scoop bees off the side of the bin and drop them gently into their new hive. Then her eyes landed on the queen, who stood out with her orange coloring and bigger body. She put her in a clip and moved her to the new hive.
In this case, some of the bees had swarmed, and you can see the bee swarm in a tree in the garden. Erika just waited a few minutes, and they came back on their own to be with their queen.
After a little while as many bees as she could accommodate had entered the new hive, so she transported it to her truck and they drove off to their new home.
Please do not try to interact with bees the way Erika Thompson does, as it can lead to being stung and injured. Erika is a highly skilled beekeeper and bee removal expert. After many years of working with bees she has arrived at her own comfort zone when it comes to how she works with bees, and whether she wears beekeeping protective gear or gloves when handling bees on any particular job.
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