Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Lost Colony

So it's Friday morning March 27th and I get a call from a local logger about a Bee Tree. He says they didn’t realize there were bees in it until after they cut it down. They then dragged it up the hill and left it far enough away from them to continue working. By the time I got there the bees were all over this guy’s equipment, specifically the skidder that dragged the tree. Yet I was still able to walk up to the tree, now a log, and check out the colony. Lots of activity, no swarming, still located in the log.


At this point I call the local Dadant shop. (I’m still new to this and do not know many people personally yet). I ask the guy there (Mark) if he can direct me to any other local person who can collect these bees. He gives me a name and I make the call. I end up talking to Larry about collecting the colony. Larry seems like a great guy and is willing to come out to get then but let me take them home. We discuss the options and decide to meet the next Monday at the site and get to business. I hand up with him and begin to figure out how much hive equipment I’ll need to get to house the colony.

The weekend passes with warm temps and Sun. Up until Sunday night when some predicted rain turns into the worst snow we’ve had in years. Then the temperature drops to a new all time low never recorded in this area since records have been kept. The snow and cold last as long as the major power outages. Four days.

Did I mention that the Bee Log is lying on its side on top of a windy treeless hill?

Well it was, and still is except that it is no longer a Bee Log. They’re gone. Frozen or gone I’m not sure; probably the former. I called Larry and let him know the status of our bees. He took it better than I did. Not his first rodeo. I also told him that if I locate any more colonies he’s the one I’ll call to come get them. I generally work over eighty-thousand acres so there will be more.

It’s just a damn shame about this colony.



Irish said...

so let me get this straight...if you had captured them in some way you could have brought them home like a puppy?

Polar said...

YES! absolutely

I'd be getting free bees. Otherwise I'd need to buy them or split an existing hive. Some believe that honey bees in the wild will not live as long as cared-for-bees in one's backyard.