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Author Topic: Crazy day - four calls!  (Read 927 times)
Bill W.
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Location: Moclips, WA


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« on: July 24, 2008, 07:48:12 PM »

And I forgot my danged camera!

I had a short day at school today, so I scheduled two estimates for the early afternoon.

The first is a hive in a very old, dilapidated house, which apparently has been there a long time.  If these aren't some throw-back german black bees, I don't know what they are.  Black bees with no banding (at least from a distance) and mean as heck.  I was stung three times as soon as I got within ten feet.  This morning I mentioned in another post that I had never been stung on the head.  Well, now I have.  Removing this one on Monday.

On my way to the next estimate, I got a call from a woman who was afraid to leave her house because a huge swarm was settling in her yard.  So, I rescheduled my estimate and headed back ten miles to look at that.  Got a nice swarm - probably about six pounds of bees with a nice, green marked queen.  That is the first time I've ever picked up a marked queen in a swarm.  Unfortunately, I really botched the job.  I hadn't planned on doing any actual removal today and while I had most of my gear with me, this swarm was in a terrible tangle of branches and I decided to vacuum it.  Unfortunately, I misjudged just how many bees it was and packed too many into the vaccuum box at the same time.  A lot of those bees ruptured, so I may have killed this swarm rather than saved it.  The queen is alive and I caged her for now to keep them in the box, so worst case, I guess I picked up a queen and I can use her.

Just as I was cleaning up from that, I got another call for another swarm on the roof rack of somebody's car.  That turned out to be three blocks away.  I walked over with my bucket and bee brush and swept them into the bucket.  This swarm was small - maybe a pound.  I also don't see a queen, so if I have killed the first swarm, I can at least put the queen with this one.

After that, I went back to do my other estimate.  Now this one is a doozy.  This is another house with two hives.  This is a three story house and the hives are hanging from the edges of the roof at opposite ends of the house.  They are not in the house - the combs are hanging out in the open air.  One is absolutely monstrous.  I'm pretty sure it will fill three deeps.  There are also a lot of bees coming and going from a hole in the soffit a foot away, which makes me wonder if there is yet another hive, or if this hive has also built comb inside.  I was impressed.  Unfortunately, they are between 30 and 40 feet off the ground.  The only way to get them will be with a cherry picker.  I told the owners if they will get one, I'll come and do the removal.  We tentatively scheduled for two weeks out.  This will be a huge, crazy job.  This is the first one I've had doubts about - I hope I can pull it off!

Anyway, bee season is ripping right along.  "Business" is booming.  I never really planned for this to turn into a part-time job, but it seems there is a lot of demand for bee removal around here.
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JordanM
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Location: Standish, Michigan


« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2008, 08:46:05 PM »

You sound pretty lucky, i am on about as many sites as possible to remove swarms and i havent got on e yet.  Cry
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Bill W.
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 310


Location: Moclips, WA


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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 08:57:57 PM »

I put a classified ad in the local paper.  About half my calls are coming from that and about half from referral - either from people I've done removals for or from pest control companies.

I get nothing from the Internet.  I put my name on a couple bee sites, Craigslist ad, Freecycle.  Zip from those.  My tiny $50 classified ad has brought much more than I expected.  I was hoping I'd get three or four swarms for my $50, but I'm getting about 20 calls per week (only about half of which are actually for bees).

Who knew that so many people read the wanted section of the classified ads.

The ad reads:

"HONEY BEES WANTED - Swarms removed for free, hives in buildings and trees removed for fee. Call Bill - XXX-XXX-XXXX."

So, if you want bees, you might try that.  However, I advise you to be careful what you wish for!   Wink
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