Sunday, March 22, 2015

Swarm Colony at a Jobsite



Jose, a friend working as an electrician on a local job site building a hotel, contacted me to let me know that he had spotted a few frames of bees under the eaves at the roofline of the building, about five stories up.


I met him at the job site and got a good  look at the location from the ground and from the nearest window on the top floor.


The colony was in a spot only accessible by a lift, but there was a lift on the job site, around the back of the building, in use by some workers applying fascia.


After getting clearance from the supportive foreman, the  workers agreed to meet after work the following day. The next day was Saturday, and they planned to be the only crew on the site as they finished up the fascia on the rear of the building and moved the lift around front to begin work there. My beekeeping buddy and mentor Ed just happened to have a lift operator ticket (licence).

What amazing co-incidences: a smart bee-aware friend, proper equipment, licensed lift operator (and a beekeeper to boot!) and a quiet time-frame to do a relocation of the hive. It seemed too good to be true. And it was; the workers never showed up at the agreed time, and Ed and I were left staring at the colony from outside the abandoned locked compound.  Disappointment all around between Ed, Jose, and myself.

I checked out the colony Monday afternoon after work, but by then the area had been covered with fascia. Jose said that it looked like they left the colony and enclosed the area as planned. There was even a vent in the fascia, Jose said with a chuckle. Now the colony has an enclosed area, private entrance, protection from the elements, and is safe from predators. I will update after winter. How the colony will fare?

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