Practices of using pesticides also created problems with bee populations and the cycle of decline seems to be one that will continue.
As long as I can remember, there have been stories surrounding the importance of the honey bee. Without the efforts of this little creature, we would have nothing to eat, no flowers to admire, no livestock to raise and, basically, we would probably cease to exist.
My father and grandmother were old-school Germans who literally would make sure their gardens were planted to feed the bees. So it only seems natural to us to admire and try to make sure that when we see honey bees we admire them and appreciate all they do for us.
Over the last 10 years, as we would drive by Lisa Davis’ house, we would see honey bees flying all around the front of her trailer. On warm days, there seemed to be thousands of these little creatures. No one was ever bothered by them and everyone seemed to be living in harmony. All was right with the Davis family and the honey bee family, but there was a change on the horizon.
Lisa and her family purchased another trailer and the old one was to be hauled off, but the attachment to the honey bees by Lisa and her neighbors proved to be one in which a rescue would be in order. Now the problem was where to go and who to call to save the bees.
We made numerous calls to bee rescue places only to be told that there would be a considerable charge to move the bees and that they might be Africanized bees. The search continued until I came across an ad on Craigslist saying, “I want your unwanted bees.”
It turned out to be Dr. Cary Voss, who is a registered Texas beekeeper in Victoria. It looked as though we would have a happy ending to our story.
Dr. Voss came out and assessed the situation and determined that a side of the trailer would need to come off in order to extract the hive. He showed up with all of his equipment – bee suit, smoker, bee box and a bee vacuum.
After pulling off the side of the trailer floor, he discovered huge clumps of honeycomb and honey. He removed the comb and put it in his bee box and many of the bees followed. There was no agitation of the bees, just confusion over where to go – the old home or the new one. The queen had not been found at that time, so the bees were just a little confused. Dr. Voss left the hive alone to have us observe it for a couple of days to see where the majority of the hive would end up – in the trailer or the box.
On the third day, the bees were literally hanging inside the floor of the trailer which indicated that the queen was still inside the floor. So back to the extraction techniques of scraping the bees off the walls of the floor, vacuuming up bees along the sides of the floor of the trailer and hopefully getting the queen in the process. All during this process, I stood about 15 feet away with all the bees just flying around a bit confused but not agitated at all.
In just a couple of days the process was completed and through Lisa’s efforts of wanting to save these bees several thousand honey bees were rescued and relocated. No one was stung and the casualties of the honeybees were small. The impact on the hive was, of course, huge as the bees will be relocated to a field and fed sugar water for several days and they will continue to do what nature has intended: pollinate our plants so all of us can survive.