I forgot to tell you guys what happened with the bees from Easter Eve!
Right after I posted, or maybe while I posted, my step-dad started a search for someone that would remove the bees without killing them. He knew they were harmless because he stood right in the middle of the swarm and didn’t get stung once. He was worried, though, that they’d find their way into the walls of this old, holey house, and decide to stay.
He found a local guy, on You Tube of all places, who removes bees and gives them to people who need a colony, usually owners of small orchards in nearby Tujunga Canyon. He said they most likely came from a larger colony somewhere in the vicinity, and were either scouting for a better spot for the whole colony or were a smaller branch-off group looking for their own space. Just like you smarties said, he said they’d probably move on the next day, but that the idea of them colonizing in our walls was a very real possibility, too, and then they’d be a bear to remove.
He had quite and audience while he was here. My step-dad, sister, and I watched from a side porch while my mom, kids, and a neighbor squinched together with their faces pressed to a nearby window, mesmerized. We peppered the poor guy with questions the entire time, but he didn’t seem to mind. I’m sure he thought we were amusing. It was all so fascinating to us city folk!
He took an ordinary cardboard box, cut out a small window in the side, and taped a piece of mesh to it. Then he taped all the seams around the box and donned his beekeeper duds. He gingerly placed the box under the bees and then raised it up in agonizing increments until the entire cone was inside. Then he shook the branch they were sitting on as hard as he could. Immediately, but calmly, he closed the box and sealed it with more tape, then drenched the rose bush with an insecticide. He assured us it would only be effective long enough to kill any stray bees from this colony, to keep them from bringing back any of their mates from the main colony.
After the bees were safely in the beekeeper’s truck, my step-dad said he wished he could’ve let them stay, because he has a young avocado tree that would benefit from the pollination.
“They’d be great for the tree,” the bee guy said, “but your neighbors wouldn’t be too thrilled.”