Saturday, 10 August 2013

Effort saves thousands of bees after storm downs tree housing hive

When the box elder tree fell on Dave Miller’s property west of Denmark in the town of Glenmore during Wednesday’s storm, a massive honey beehive in the trunk was uncovered.

Thousands of bees, honeycomb filled with honey, and brood (larvae and pupae) were exposed. Knowing the importance of bees and the fact that bees have been dying at an alarming rate, he hoped that they could be saved.

After making a few phone calls, four people from the Manitowoc County Beekeepers Association, (Gary Sydow, David Estes, Jane Michalek, and Richard Miller), arrived and began the process of removing the 60,000-plus bees from the tree.

Gary Sydow, the leader of the group, brought along his bee collecting system. Using an old Kirby vacuum cleaner, five-gallon buckets, duct tape and hoses, the bees were removed.

The bees were drawn through the hose into the five-gallon buckets, separated by a screen. The screen stopped the bees from going into the vacuum cleaner. The amount of suction was controlled by the two red vents on the bucket. Too much suction would hurt the bees. Not enough suction and the bees would not be drawn up into the buckets.

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