When last we saw our heroine, she was busy saving the bees from being too hungry in early spring.
This time around, she is trying to save the bees from anxious neighbors.
That’s my bee-tree. The man in the bee suit is Bill.
Because the bee-tree is close to an apartment, it shouldn’t have surprised me that some of the residents were rather wary of sharing space with things that go “buzzz.” They requested that someone get rid of the bees, and I somehow found out about it. I begged the apartment manager to let me find a non-lethal way to get rid of the bees, and he agreed.
Enter Bill. Bill is from a local Black Hills beekeepers group. Bill came out this morning to inspect the hive, to see if the bees could be safely moved. It turns out, the hole is so tiny that they cannot be vacuumed out (an approved method for bee-removal). On the other hand, the tree is so hollow that it might topple over any minute. (Erk.)
This is Bill trying to peer into the hole to see what the bees are up to. He only wore his suit because the bees have recently been riled up by some folks who thought they could be encouraged to leave if their hive got all wet. (Pro-tip: doesn’t work that way.)
Two young men who have been working on repainting the windows in the apartment stopped by to chat with Bill. He told us all about how bees make honey, and how if you can’t get the queen bee out, you’ll never get the whole hive out. He pointed out how, even though the bees can’t be removed right now, they’re in a very safe location, high enough above the heads of pedestrians that no one will bother them, and therefore shouldn’t be bothered by them. Bees will only sting if they feel threatened, and a single sting kills the bee. Nothing like nasty, vicious wasps.
Bill was also able to confirm that a second batch of buzzing insects nearby was also honeybees, not wasps or hornets. That hive is in an even trickier location.
I was disappointed that the bees couldn’t be moved – I’m still not convinced that someone won’t try going after them with chemicals some day – but I think it was pretty awesome that Bill took the time to talk to me and the workers (along with a couple apartment residents who stopped by) to allay any fears and hopefully encourage everyone to consider saving the bees rather than murdering them, if at all possible.
(The fact that he mentioned there are probably hundreds of pounds of $8-per-pound honey hiding out in these hives, not to mention Bill’s credentials as an explosives expert, may also have helped…)
If I can talk someone into chopping down that tree to facilitate the saving of my bees, I will keep you apprised.