Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Beehive Experience

Written by Wendy, RVT

A week ago, we experienced a bee issue that had developed on the property next door.  The bees there made a significant population size that we felt needed to be addressed. We were concerned about the possibilities of bee stings to humans and animals, as both can be allergic to the stings.  The stings of bees and other insects have the potential to cause a histamine reaction resulting in swelling around the sting site or worse, anaphylactic shock!  We decided to contact a beekeeper from the Sacramento Area Bee Keepers Association. Past President Brian Fishback came out within the hour and removed the hive free of charge.  The issue was considered a “Swarm” of bees. This is a large group of helper bees along with a queen that are trying to establish a hive.  The estimated amount of bee in this swarm was around 40,000 bees.  We learned from Brian that this particular swarm had probably developed within a 5 day period.
Mr. Fishback gave us some fun facts regarding bees.  Bees can produce about 7/16th of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime.  This doesn’t sound like a lot but multiply that by 40,000 bees and you have a pretty large amount of honey produced from one hive.
Mr. Fishback and his team were able to remove the swarm humanely.  They did this by using a 5 gallon bucket on a pole, and with a little “bumping” of the swarm, the bees would fall into the bucket. They then placed the extracted bees into a beehive box.  The smell of past honey in the box and ideal conditions for a hive made the bees happy.  The bees let off a pheromone hormone by fanning their wings to let the rest of the swarm know to come down to the box.  The biggest trick for beekeepers when collecting a hive or swarm is to actually remove the queen as well. 
By the next morning, the bees were in the beehive box. The property owners were eventually contacted and they were happy that the bees were removed.
Bees are at an all time high this year.  If you happen to see a hive or swarm of bees developing on your home or property, we suggest calling a professional pest company or beekeeper in your area to remove them for you.

If you need Brian Fishback’s services you can contact him on his website: www.beesarelife.com.

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