Spring is always the craziest time of year for beekeepers. We are busy with Avocado pollination, making queen bees, performing or normal bee maintenance, and most important of all, performing live bee removals. With the El Nino this year there have been more beehives to catch than we can keep up with. This year I have removed around 3-9 hives per day since February, and now that we are in May, many of the hives are very well established.
Today I removed a very large hive from a temple in Newbury Park. The owners first noticed it a little over a month ago in their awning on the third floor just above their daycare. Typically after a hive has been established for around three weeks I recommend a full bee removal, and the customer agreed. We had to take the tiles off the roof, remove the tar paper, and then cut through the plywood to reach the hive. When removing bees from any hive over one story the most time consuming part of the entire job is simply going up and down the ladder with all of the equipment, wax, and honey while the bees are desperately trying to sting you through your bee suit. After roughly two hours we had the roof opened, the beeswax inside the bee box, but the bees were absolutely everywhere. After an hour, and a lot of smoke, we convinced the bees to form a nice large ball on the underside of the awning. We got out our handy bucket on a stick, knocked the bees into the bucket, put them into the bee box, and celebrated a job well done.