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These bees are pretty awesome.

This week at Brookhaven Broadcasting, our honey bee colony’s forced migration to Crystal Springs continues.

As you may know, we have an infestation of honey bees living in one of the brick columns at the rear of our office, and Crystal Springs beekeeper Wes Fitzpatrick has engineered a clever bee trap to get them out of the column and building anew in the nest of his choosing. Every few days he comes by and checks the box, pulls out the inner frames on which the bees are nesting, takes the full frames home to his farm (where the bees pollinate his rich gardens) for assimilation into their new nest and leaves empty frames to give the remaining bees something to do.

Basically, Wes is taking all the kids from a giant school home in a single bus by making a ton of trips.

 

Today, Beverly, our office manager, was totally freaking out because the bees, after several days of calm, were swarming all over the outside of the box and all over the brick columns.

So I, totally calm, cool and collected, called Wes and said, “Hey man, the bees are going ape.” Not really. But close. Turns out, while the bees are in the process of abandoning a nest, they have one day in particular where they decide, “F*** it, I’m out of here,” and come out of the old nest en masse. Apparently that’s what they did, but of course they can’t all fit into their nest at the same time…

… until Wes shows up and makes some room.

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Inside the new nest. There are five frames in the box the bees on which the bees make new honeycomb. Wes tells us the box has to be the perfect size: too large and they build funky nests that aren’t sustainable, too small and they overbuild and fuse everything together. The honey bee: nature’s doofus.

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A closeup inside the nest. As you can see, the bees are hard at work building honeycomb on anything where it will stick. This is only a few days’ worth of work.

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Wes checks the frames. This one is kind of empty, so he leaves it in the box that stays at our station.

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This frame is good and full and crowded, so Wes puts this one in his box for transport back to Crystal Springs.

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In this picture, Wes is pointing to a cell where the bees are growing a new queen. They usually keep several could-be queen cells going, just in case there’s a shortage of queen bees to worship.

 

 

 

 

 

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