For quite a long time Rita and I had talked sporadically about our desire to become beekeepers. This was sparked by our neighbor and friend at CASA Rodriguez, Terry White, who caught us by surprise when he caught a couple of swarms around our shop back parking lot. Watching him set up a couple of boxes to offer the roaming “girls” a home was fascinating, especially seeing how calm the honey bees were. We would expect some aggression but we didn’t hear of a single stinging casualty.
Just this past week Rita informed me that a bunch of bees were flying around the deck we have been replacing. I immediately slapped my forehead realizing it’s spring and I just left a portion of our wall wide open for any small critter to help themselves into our home (I’m going to stucco over it at some point OK?!). After an hour or two I was relieved to notice they were gone and I assumed they moved on. Well, turns out they lodged themselves into my wall just as I had feared. I was kicking myself for this but Rita, as often is the case, grounded me with the suggestion to call Terry to see what options we have. After calming down and doing some web searching I realized that bees are not a pest and that a pest control company would simply come in a kill them for a bunch of money. Dial Terry we did.
The very next day Terry came over to inspect the situation and we decided to give it a try and see if we could coax these girls to take flight and maybe have them like the nice portable penthouse we set up for them nearby. We were successful in getting (I held some tools so yes, we) them to come out of the wall and they bundled up nearby. I think they were just buying time to decide were to move next. The scouts were probably in flight exploring right away for alternatives. Terry actually saw the bee fly out of the hole which was pretty cool. Hopefully she stayed around nearby so the colony doesn’t get too confused.
We pulled some wax the girls had set up (nectar was tasty!) and temporarily taped off access with a very sturdy set of trash bags and duct tape to keep them out of our house in the meantime. The question left hanging is if they will decide to move into the beautiful furnished condo we set up next to them. Time will tell and I’ll update you on our next post to come soon.