An exciting day of bee removal at a game ranch in Encinal, Texas – not far from the border with Mexico.
This 400-acre deer lease had a long-derelict trailer home that had been just taken over by bees in recent years.
The ranch manager had been planning to just burn the trailer down because the bees were so feisty they couldn’t even get close to the structure at all. In the meantime, they had just been keeping their distance from the structure and not doing any mowing.
When the bees moved into a new trailer on the property, I got the call and despite the long drive decided to take it on.
Alas, I forgot my CD case as I loaded up to leave New Braunfels, and once I got a ways south of San Antonio could only find one radio station – all Tejano all the time! But I found myself even singing along by the end of the trip.
The first three hives were pretty standard removals. One – the more recently developed hive under the new trailer. That hive was too close for comfort and the tipping point that got them to call me.
Then I jumped into the three soffit removals from the deserted trailer. The front door of the derelict building was locked, so I had to slide into the structure through a large hole in a bathroom wall. The interior looked untouched for years, with old deer heads and man-camp accoutrement and décor.
I searched the structure with my thermal camera and only came up with one heat signature – a 94-degree Fahrenheit reading that indicates the presence of bees. Only one colony had built at all into the interior; the others were in the overhang outside.
The second and third removals were pretty standard soffit jobs, although large hives with old dark comb – an indicator that there’d been bees there for years. Lots of work to cut out all the comb and vacuum up the bees.
Then the last hive was a doozy. My GoPro ran out of battery so I just went at it without recording. And of course, this was the mother of all hives!
The bees poured out of the open like an angry leak in a water-tower, and the further I dug into the hive the more comb and honey I found and dripped down on my face and all over my bee suit – not to mention being covered by some very angry bees and getting a few stings through my veil. Ouch!
I ended up having to get inside and cut the trailer ceiling to get at the bulk of the honey and vacuum up a big ball of bees.
Once finished, I visited with the clients over some delicious deer sausage sandwiches before the long drive back to New Braunfels where I hived the bees up.
As of this morning, the transplanted bees are getting situated in their new boxes and I’ll know how they’ll fare or if they need queens in coming days.
All in all a very long and tiring day but definitely worth it. Heck, what else can I do with my time during a dang pandemic?!
If you have bee troubles, please don’t hesitate to reach out – 830.708.8797. A short phone conversation is all it will take to begin the diagnosis of your situation and come up with a plan of action.
If I don’t have the resources to help, I’ll gladly point you in the right direction.
And an important note: I practice careful social distancing in these COVID-19 days. In fact, with or without a nasty virus going around, I make sure the area is clear of people and pets before I start work for safety.
If you find bees, stay away, don’t spray, and call me today!