Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

The Bees and The Birds! April 14, 2013

UntitledLast week a swarm moved into our composter.  This is not the first time we’ve had bees there.  Several years ago, we had another group move in…IMG_8859

We discovered some methods that DON’T work for relocating them:  spraying water and tapping on the lid.  Both of these activities just make the bees angry…very angry…Learn from our mistakes and don’t even try these options.

So, when I saw several bees loitering around the lid of the compost recently, I knew instantly what was going on and what not to do.

Instead, I called on my good friend Thalia (author extraordinaire and beekeeper).  She referred me to the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association.  I contacted Tom–local bee enthusiast.

He arrived ready to start the process.  Donning jacket (with head-gear) and gloves, he lifted the lid.  While it seemed like there were thousands and thousands of bees, Tom assured me that it was a smallish swarm.  He set up the nuc (short for nucleus, not nuclear) and tapped the composter lid over the frames.  Tom had a pre-used frame (dark brown) in the nuc to attract the bees into the box.


The other frames were new(whitish) and ready to roll.  IMG_8860Incidentally, the brown one smelled like warm honey–a very comforting fragrance indeed.

IMG_8875And with that, the hard work was done!

Tom set the nuc on top of the composter and indicated how the bees were marching into the box to their queen–evidently she has an attractive pheromone that is a siren’s call to her bees.  It was truly amazing to see the swarm enter the box in almost orderly fashion!IMG_8868

Equally amazing was the amount of honeycomb that had been created within 24 hours time.  These bees are dedicated and hard workers!  Incidentally, there was some honey in the comb already–tasty!

IMG_8864Later that night, Tom came back and checked the composter for straggler bees–there were none.  All were in the box with their queen–buzzing contentedly.  He carried the nuc off into the night to be relocated to a happy hive.

Tom recommended that I scrape down the remaining honeycomb off the lid and clean it thoroughly–some random bees flying by might pick up on the scent and bring in another swarm.Untitled 2

If you’re in the Santa Barbara area and need bee relocation services, please contact the SBBA.  They will come out and help you.  I was happy to donate to their worthy cause in exchange for their valuable services.

In addition to the bees, spring time has brought the return of our beloved orioles and quail.  The hummingbirds continue to enjoy the water feature too.Untitled

IMG_1361Flowers are blooming everywhere.

It must be springtime in Santa Barbara!

What’s it doing where you’re at?  And, have you had a bee experience?  Let’s hear all about it!


3 Responses to “The Bees and The Birds!”

  1. dennis downing Says:

    wow Pearl. I need to go to your blog to see what you see in my own back yard!! Thanks for cluing me in!

  2. craftymamareed Says:

    great post friend and great info.. we gotta protect the bees!!!!!

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