A few weeks ago Bug and I answered a call to help with a massive bee accident. It was down the road from where we live and we had nothing else going on with our schedule. We decided it was a perfect time to learn how to work a bee accident/swarm.
We were the first beekeepers on scene. What we didn't know was that it was all over the news. We heard about the accident online from our local bee club. It was a media circus with several news channels and the local newspaper.
A large bee supplier company had dropped some hives when they transferred bees from a broken down trailer to another one. They left the bees and ran over many with a fork lift. Come to find out some of their bees escaped up the road at another location the same evening. It also generated a stir at a local fire work stand and people were getting stung.
Bug and I calmly walked over to the light pole with out our suits on to assess the situation. I knew right away I had to get on the phone and call other beekeepers. I didn't have enough equipment for this many bees. It was enough bees for several hives. They were just the workers and I didn't think they had a queen but, I was unsure.
Then came the media circus. Of course I had no make up and I had just got out of the shower when the call went out. So I am the bee expert suddenly! I was able to stay calm and look like I knew what I was doing. This was the first time we had done anything like this.
Beekeepers to the rescue! They faithfully came after I called!
These two hive boxes are filled with bees. Unfortunately, this wasn't what we took home. The rule of thumb is that the first beekeeper on scene takes home the majority of the bees. I didn't have enough equipment and told him that he could have them. I need to save up and sell more honey to purchase more hive equipment.We took home a nice nuc of bees. I would estimate around 20,000-30,000 bees. If it wasn't for these bees one of our hives would of died. It helped her survive until their new queen emerged and began laying eggs. I basically combined the hives by added newspaper between the hives. By the time they chewed through the newspaper they were us to each others scent and didn't kill one another.
One of the reporters from a local news channel was quite uncomfortable around all the flying bees. One of the beekeepers gave her a bee suit to put on as she was panicking and swatting at the bees. Several reporters got stung numerous times.
The first site of the bee accident got a lot of social media attention. Along with Bug as the local newspaper did and exclusive on her. It was her age and collecting bees that made it more news worthy. The story line read,Young Beekeeper helps contain Massive Bee Accident" They asked her, "aren't you afraid of bees". She told them, "I am fearless" and "I was just born that way".
Due to the social media attention one company donated a $500 check to our bee club. We had nothing to do with the first site but, we got invited as we helped with the second site clean up.
Love the Thanks for creating a "buzz" about our Product.
The donation is going to go to starting a youth program scholarship if it is approved by the members. It would help youth like Bug with a hive and all the equipment along with a mentor for a year.
That was our great adventure that was all the buzz this last month.