Water Meter Bees
Today Chelsea and I rescued a hive from a water meter in Chase Park in Marina Del Rey with fellow Backward Beekeeper Susan. Susan is a violinist in the Marina Del Rey Orchestra and noticed the bees coming out of the meter after a rehearsal. She contacted the park administration and asked them if we could rescue the bees. They didn’t know about Susan’s bees, but they had planned to call vector control to have another 3 hives in the park exterminated (“foamed”). They were happy to let us rescue the bees.


I thought it was going to be a fairly small hive because these water meters are checked every few months. Well, this one must have gone awhile because when I cracked the lid, I discovered at least a 6 month old hive. 

Look at all those bees! 

We worked quickly to cut out the comb from the water meter, brush the bees into a nuc box and tie the comb into frames. 

This was Susan’s first cut-out and she did a great job. Ken, our park supervisor, was intrigued with the whole process, paying careful attention to our every move. He even got his first ever bee sting and could have cared less. 


None of us could believe how many bees came out of this little water meter. After we brushed the queen into one of the nucs, it was like a stampede to get in. The entrance hole soon clogged, forcing the bees to pack another four nucs to the gills. In the end, we rescued every single bee, saving these prolific little creatures from the foam. 

Water Meter Bees

Today Chelsea and I rescued a hive from a water meter in Chase Park in Marina Del Rey with fellow Backward Beekeeper Susan. Susan is a violinist in the Marina Del Rey Orchestra and noticed the bees coming out of the meter after a rehearsal. She contacted the park administration and asked them if we could rescue the bees. They didn’t know about Susan’s bees, but they had planned to call vector control to have another 3 hives in the park exterminated (“foamed”). They were happy to let us rescue the bees.

I thought it was going to be a fairly small hive because these water meters are checked every few months. Well, this one must have gone awhile because when I cracked the lid, I discovered at least a 6 month old hive. 

Look at all those bees! 

We worked quickly to cut out the comb from the water meter, brush the bees into a nuc box and tie the comb into frames. 

This was Susan’s first cut-out and she did a great job. Ken, our park supervisor, was intrigued with the whole process, paying careful attention to our every move. He even got his first ever bee sting and could have cared less. 

None of us could believe how many bees came out of this little water meter. After we brushed the queen into one of the nucs, it was like a stampede to get in. The entrance hole soon clogged, forcing the bees to pack another four nucs to the gills. In the end, we rescued every single bee, saving these prolific little creatures from the foam. 

Urban Bats Need Love Too
My friend Shawn and I built this bat box at the urging of my cousin Brad, a US Department of Fish and Wildlive field biologist up in Washington State. Ironically, much like the honey bee, bats need safe places to live in the urban environment, which again, due to abundant forage (mosquitos and bugs of the night) and lack of pesticides, provide safe refuge for a struggling species. 
Since 2007 when a caver in NY photographed a white substance on muzzles of hibernating bats, over a million bats have succumbed to what has since been dubbed White-Nose Syndrome. In some areas, death rates reach nearly 90%. Scientists have discovered that the white substance is a fungus, Geomyces destructans, the cause of which is still undetermined. 
 Many scientists argue that in order to protect bat colonies, we must create more habitat for hibernating bats. By creating bat boxes everywhere, from urban environments like mine to agricultural settings, forests and on phone poles, we can decentralize bat populations, and reduce the risk of massive infections.
Another parallel with bees is of course the hysteria and misunderstanding. Sadly, I suspect this blow to the species is going to be confounded by the human impact. If people see bats with white muzzles, they are going to suspect rabies and eradicate immediately. Worse yet, bats suffering from White-Nose Syndrome are reported to behave uncharacteristically; again likely to lead people to suspect that the bat is going to turn their pooch into Kujo.
Bats are beyond critical to our health and future. Without bats we would be overrun with insects, and vectors spread by mosquitos would intensify exponentially. Putting up a bat box is a simple token of gratitude to a species working over-time to make the planet habitable for our species.
Bats, again like bees, are to be given a wide birth and respected, but are a welcome addition to any environment. I encourage you to put up a bat box, wherever you can. There are tons of plans online and if followed carefully, you can easily create valuable habitat for a very valuable species.
Stay tuned for if any bats actually show up. Would love to rescue some bats but I don’t think that is how it works. I’ll check with some wildlife rescue friends to be sure.  

Urban Bats Need Love Too

My friend Shawn and I built this bat box at the urging of my cousin Brad, a US Department of Fish and Wildlive field biologist up in Washington State. Ironically, much like the honey bee, bats need safe places to live in the urban environment, which again, due to abundant forage (mosquitos and bugs of the night) and lack of pesticides, provide safe refuge for a struggling species. 

Since 2007 when a caver in NY photographed a white substance on muzzles of hibernating bats, over a million bats have succumbed to what has since been dubbed White-Nose Syndrome. In some areas, death rates reach nearly 90%. Scientists have discovered that the white substance is a fungus, Geomyces destructans, the cause of which is still undetermined. 

 Many scientists argue that in order to protect bat colonies, we must create more habitat for hibernating bats. By creating bat boxes everywhere, from urban environments like mine to agricultural settings, forests and on phone poles, we can decentralize bat populations, and reduce the risk of massive infections.

Another parallel with bees is of course the hysteria and misunderstanding. Sadly, I suspect this blow to the species is going to be confounded by the human impact. If people see bats with white muzzles, they are going to suspect rabies and eradicate immediately. Worse yet, bats suffering from White-Nose Syndrome are reported to behave uncharacteristically; again likely to lead people to suspect that the bat is going to turn their pooch into Kujo.

Bats are beyond critical to our health and future. Without bats we would be overrun with insects, and vectors spread by mosquitos would intensify exponentially. Putting up a bat box is a simple token of gratitude to a species working over-time to make the planet habitable for our species.

Bats, again like bees, are to be given a wide birth and respected, but are a welcome addition to any environment. I encourage you to put up a bat box, wherever you can. There are tons of plans online and if followed carefully, you can easily create valuable habitat for a very valuable species.

Stay tuned for if any bats actually show up. Would love to rescue some bats but I don’t think that is how it works. I’ll check with some wildlife rescue friends to be sure.  

Solar Beeswax Melter
I have a bunch of beeswax from cut-outs…so what to do? I came up with this design based on a few I’d seen online and was able to pull together most of the material from around the house. The concept is pretty simple - sun heats up metal, melting wax into a trough. 
Seemed to be working well, though I think it needs a full day of sun to fully melt the wax. It got warm enough today to melt the wax into piles, though not warm enough to make it run into the trough. We’ll see tomorrow after it gets full sun all day. 

Solar Beeswax Melter

I have a bunch of beeswax from cut-outs…so what to do? I came up with this design based on a few I’d seen online and was able to pull together most of the material from around the house. The concept is pretty simple - sun heats up metal, melting wax into a trough. 

Seemed to be working well, though I think it needs a full day of sun to fully melt the wax. It got warm enough today to melt the wax into piles, though not warm enough to make it run into the trough. We’ll see tomorrow after it gets full sun all day. 

"Mar Vista tripleheader"
Today, Roberta of Backwards Beekeepers and I cut-out three hives from my neighbor’s garage. John contacted BB after what sounds like a few bungled removals. What started as one hive in his wall splintered into three robust hives, taking up residence in various parts of the garage. 

John’s daughter Catherine, a biology student at UCSB, helped us throughout the whole ordeal. I suspect we have a newbie beek in the making. She was really impressive.
The first hive we tackled was in a window frame and was fully exposed after removing a sheet of plywood that was installed after the previous removal.

We were able to easily cut out the comb and tie it into frames. Look at all that brood!

Next up was a hive that set up in a wine box left behind to trap stragglers from the previous removal. The thought was that it was better to have them living in the box than in the wall.

Unfortunately, they quickly got over-crowded and sent out at least two more swarms, which set up shop in the window and wall. Makes me wonder if this is where the swarm that showed up in my yard originated. If so, I have John to thank for my good fortune. The good news was that the box made for a really simple cut-out.
 
We tied all the comb into 5 frames and dropped them into a nuc box I built. We obviously got the queen because the rest of the crew was eager to get inside. 

And finally, after a ton of sawing and brute demo work, we were able to cut-out the swarm in the wall. They really spread out throughout the wall, so it took a ton of coaxing to get them all. And by coaxing, I mean busting the hell out of the wall and brushing and vacuuming like a mad man. And though I’m no fan of the bee vac, I’ve found it to be essential in some of the hairier cut-outs. Going to try to build one this weekend, stay tuned for how that turns out. 
Special thanks to John and Catherine for helping rescue many thousands of honeybees, and to Roberta for the mentoring. 

"Mar Vista tripleheader"

Today, Roberta of Backwards Beekeepers and I cut-out three hives from my neighbor’s garage. John contacted BB after what sounds like a few bungled removals. What started as one hive in his wall splintered into three robust hives, taking up residence in various parts of the garage. 

John’s daughter Catherine, a biology student at UCSB, helped us throughout the whole ordeal. I suspect we have a newbie beek in the making. She was really impressive.

The first hive we tackled was in a window frame and was fully exposed after removing a sheet of plywood that was installed after the previous removal.

We were able to easily cut out the comb and tie it into frames. Look at all that brood!

Next up was a hive that set up in a wine box left behind to trap stragglers from the previous removal. The thought was that it was better to have them living in the box than in the wall.

Unfortunately, they quickly got over-crowded and sent out at least two more swarms, which set up shop in the window and wall. Makes me wonder if this is where the swarm that showed up in my yard originated. If so, I have John to thank for my good fortune. The good news was that the box made for a really simple cut-out.

 

We tied all the comb into 5 frames and dropped them into a nuc box I built. We obviously got the queen because the rest of the crew was eager to get inside. 

And finally, after a ton of sawing and brute demo work, we were able to cut-out the swarm in the wall. They really spread out throughout the wall, so it took a ton of coaxing to get them all. And by coaxing, I mean busting the hell out of the wall and brushing and vacuuming like a mad man. And though I’m no fan of the bee vac, I’ve found it to be essential in some of the hairier cut-outs. Going to try to build one this weekend, stay tuned for how that turns out. 

Special thanks to John and Catherine for helping rescue many thousands of honeybees, and to Roberta for the mentoring. 

FEATURED BEEKEEPER: Ed (Redondo Beach, CA)
Ed, a member of Backwards Beekeepers, is a man on a mission. His first encounter with bees came when a hive set up shop in his property. Not knowing his options, Ed had an exterminator out to get rid of the bees - a decision that haunts him to this day. As a gardener and wildlife lover, Ed set out to find a better option, a way to redeem himself. 
After some googling, Ed found the Backwards Beekeepers and the rest is history. He’s got bee fever as bad as anyone. 
In addition to going out and rescuing bees himself, Ed made friends with an exterminator who he convinced to do live captures. She now drops off at least three swarms a week. Ed basically runs a bee orphanage - connecting people who need bees with bees in need. 



 
Today we scooped up three swarms from him - two of which went to a new home in Laguna Beach 


The third of Ed’s rescues went to newbie beek Mark in Woodland Hills. 

FEATURED BEEKEEPER: 
Ed (Redondo Beach, CA)

Ed, a member of Backwards Beekeepers, is a man on a mission. His first encounter with bees came when a hive set up shop in his property. Not knowing his options, Ed had an exterminator out to get rid of the bees - a decision that haunts him to this day. As a gardener and wildlife lover, Ed set out to find a better option, a way to redeem himself. 

After some googling, Ed found the Backwards Beekeepers and the rest is history. He’s got bee fever as bad as anyone. 

In addition to going out and rescuing bees himself, Ed made friends with an exterminator who he convinced to do live captures. She now drops off at least three swarms a week. Ed basically runs a bee orphanage - connecting people who need bees with bees in need. 

 

Today we scooped up three swarms from him - two of which went to a new home in Laguna Beach 

The third of Ed’s rescues went to newbie beek Mark in Woodland Hills. 

I inspected Sophie Anne yesterday and she has drawn quite a bit of comb, but it would appear (unless I am mistaken, and correct me if I am) that the workers have designs on replacing their queen. You’ll notice in the middle of the photo a unique cell that sticks out. I believe this to be a queen cell, and more specifically a supercedure cell. Bees will create these cells when they believe their queen is failing and want to replace her. That would appear to be the case with Sophie Anne. Perhaps she was injured or just not laying enough brood. I didn’t see her during the inspection so I can’t speak to her condition or existence for that matter. At any rate, I’m excited to see what happens. Hopefully they will emerge a stronger, healthier hive. 

I inspected Sophie Anne yesterday and she has drawn quite a bit of comb, but it would appear (unless I am mistaken, and correct me if I am) that the workers have designs on replacing their queen. You’ll notice in the middle of the photo a unique cell that sticks out. I believe this to be a queen cell, and more specifically a supercedure cell. Bees will create these cells when they believe their queen is failing and want to replace her. That would appear to be the case with Sophie Anne. Perhaps she was injured or just not laying enough brood. I didn’t see her during the inspection so I can’t speak to her condition or existence for that matter. At any rate, I’m excited to see what happens. Hopefully they will emerge a stronger, healthier hive. 

Legalize Bees!

Tonight, with the support of the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee and Backwards Beekeepers, Chelsea and I along with Maritza Przekop made a motion before the Mar Vista Community Council to do a feasibility study for legalizing bees in Los Angeles. We won unanimous support and the feasibility study is moving full steam ahead! 

The following are the remarks I prepared for the council:

They say that you don’t choose to be a beekeeper, but rather the bees choose you. So when a swarm of honeybees showed up in our organic garden on my birthday this Spring, we were recruited into the ranks of beekeepers, an order that includes everyone from Aristotle, the Apostle Luke and Alexander the Great to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Edison.

As avid gardeners, Chelsea and I had been following the Backwards Beekeepers blog for several years prior to the swarm showing up, so we knew exactly who to call. A few hours later, a volunteer from the organization showed up and removed the bees without incident. We were able to find a new home for them in Santa Monica where they are now happily making honey.

This experience drove us to learn more about honeybees and to get involved with the Backwards Beekeepers, an organization committed to saving bees from extinction through education, activism and best practices for keeping healthy bees. The more we have learned about the plight of the honeybee, the more we are drawn in, like honeycomb filling in a frame.

The histories of the human species and that of the honeybee are inseparable. Neither species could have evolved to present conditions without the symbiotic relationship that we harbor.

As Albert Einstein said, “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

The reason for his grim prognosis is the fact that bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants including 90 different food crops, which means that 1 out of every 3 bites of food is thanks to a bee.

Unfortunately, we have real reason to fear the specter raised by Mr. Einstein. Over the last three years, more than one in three honeybee colonies collapsed nationwide, a phenomenon now called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. And while there is no one smoking gun causing CCD, scientists now widely agree that it is a result of a combination of factors, made manifest by industrial beekeeping which involves trucking thousands of hives great distances to pollinate crops, exposing bees to countless pesticides, and interfering with the species natural defenses by treating them with miticides and antibiotics and feeding them high fructose corn syrup. This deadly cocktail has made bees incredibly vulnerable and on the brink of collapse. If present trends continue, scientists estimate there will be no more bees by 2035. That is, only if we fail to act, if we fail to recognize this disaster in the making and don’t take strong action to counter the slow march to extinction.

So what do we do?

According to Simon Buxton as quoted in the new documentary The Vanishing of the Bees, “the future of beekeeping is not in one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, but rather 60,000 people with one hive.”

The best science tells us that the future of the honeybee and thus our future lie within the urban environment. Despite the irony, cities actually provide safer habitat than the farms and rural areas traditionally associated with beekeeping. Cities provide a much more diverse source of forage for bees, drastically reducing if not eliminating the need to artificially feed bees. Rather than having to eat exclusively whatever is in bloom wherever they have been unloaded from the trucks, city bees are able to find everything they need in people’s gardens and landscaping. And due to most people not wanting pesticides on their property or near their family, bees are granted a ‘get out of jail free’ card, thus eliminating one more reason for their decline. The city environment is therefore the last refuge of the honeybee. 

Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and most recently Santa Monica have all taken decisive action and legalized beekeeping. We are here today to begin the process of adding Los Angeles to this list. We believe it to be a necessary and just measure requiring immediate action. We humbly request that you consider our motion in the spirit of preserving the future of the honeybee and thus the future of us all.

Tangerine Trees, Marmalade Hives
The other night fellow Backwards Beekeeper Roberta and I responded to a call in Culver City from a guy claiming to have a hive the size of two basketballs in his tangerine tree. Sure enough, we showed up to discover one of the largest tree hives any of us had seen. Despite being nearly sunset, we couldn’t resist and decided to try to take the whole thing while all the bees were in for the night. 
We were going to need back-up for this one, so Roberta called in Yvonne for some extra support. The three of us tediously trimmed away branches overhead, freeing the hive of the thousands of buttressing branches needed to keep this massive hive in place. Eventually we got it to a place where we could cut off one branch and bring the whole thing down. I held on to the limb as Roberta and Yvonne hacked away with a pole trimmer. After what felt like forever, we sawed our way through and were able to bring it down. 

We trimmed the branches some more to allow us to stick the whole thing in a box. Surprisingly the bees were very cooperative throughout, all things considered. 

It was a major team effort and a lot of fun. Thanks Roberta and Yvonne, you guys are amazing!
Stay tuned for a video of this hive being cut-out and tied into their new home in a Langstroth hive.  

Tangerine Trees, Marmalade Hives

The other night fellow Backwards Beekeeper Roberta and I responded to a call in Culver City from a guy claiming to have a hive the size of two basketballs in his tangerine tree. Sure enough, we showed up to discover one of the largest tree hives any of us had seen. Despite being nearly sunset, we couldn’t resist and decided to try to take the whole thing while all the bees were in for the night. 

We were going to need back-up for this one, so Roberta called in Yvonne for some extra support. The three of us tediously trimmed away branches overhead, freeing the hive of the thousands of buttressing branches needed to keep this massive hive in place. Eventually we got it to a place where we could cut off one branch and bring the whole thing down. I held on to the limb as Roberta and Yvonne hacked away with a pole trimmer. After what felt like forever, we sawed our way through and were able to bring it down. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JfNgGpdgkeU/TgIfkIgoCUI/AAAAAAAATPk/PUP1X7vEwV0/s1024/Screen%252520shot%2525202011-06-22%252520at%2525209.58.46%252520AM.png

We trimmed the branches some more to allow us to stick the whole thing in a box. Surprisingly the bees were very cooperative throughout, all things considered. 

It was a major team effort and a lot of fun. Thanks Roberta and Yvonne, you guys are amazing!

Stay tuned for a video of this hive being cut-out and tied into their new home in a Langstroth hive.  

Cat House Cut-Out

I responded to a call on the Backwards Beekeepers rescue hotline last week when a guy got back from an extended trip to Mexico to find that bees had taken up residence in his cat’s house on the balcony of his Marina del Rey apartment. He returned home to find his balcony covered in dead bees and peeled back a rolled up carpet to find the hive bulging out of the fabric cat house. Penniless from his vacation, he plied my conservation guilt to take the bees off his hands gratis. In cases where I don’t have to drive very far, I often find myself making this bargain, though as my beekeeping expenses add up, I find myself a little resentful of the exterminators making hundreds to kill or remove the “pests.” At any rate, I digress. 

The morning after picking up the bees from the balcony, I brought them to a couple’s house I had met on a previous rescue. As vegans, they have no interest in the honey, but they know that the urban environment is the future for the honeybee and were only happy to make their beautifully landscaped backyard available to my cat house bees. 

This was my first cut-out, and like all firsts, I made a few mistakes. The first mistake was that I did it by myself. Probably could have used someone with some experience in my ear, but I figured I had read enough and watched enough videos…not so much. The second mistake was that on my first cut-out, I elected to move the bees into a top-bar hive I had just built. The hive in itself wasn’t the problem - it was built to spec with wood molding for comb guides. The problem was tying in the salvaged comb. It did not want to cooperate at all. In the end, completely covered in honey, pollen and all things sticky, I was able to make it work but it wasn’t without tremendous effort. The final mistake I made was briefly unzipping my veil just a fraction of an inch. It was just enough time for a bee to shoot the gap and sting me between the eyes. It actually didn’t hurt all that bad, but later that night my face had swelled up pretty good. I woke up the next morning looking like a Navi from Avatar. 

The best part of the entire experience came when I found the queen in a pile of bees on the ground. I held out my finger for her and she walked right on. I then held my finger just inside the top bars and she instantly rejoined her compadres. 

I was also able to harvest a Mason jar full of fresh, raw honey. Nothing has ever tasted quite so sweet. This was easily one of the best, most educational experiences of my life. Can’t wait for the next cut-out, though no matter how itchy my nose gets, I’m staying zipped up :)

When a swarm of honeybees showed up at my work, my colleagues were eager to get in on the action. Everyone pitched in - from keeping track of the roving swarm and talking to the neighbors, to helping me get to the bees and bravely documenting the capture. 

All the bees made their way into the box, and luckily just a day before I’d built a top-bar hive for a friend who Chelsea persuaded to let us keep bees in his backyard. Later that evening Chelsea and I showed up to his house with a buzzing box, and after some assurances (*and a tiny amount of peer pressure) we installed the bees successfully.

We checked up on them a little over a week later and they were already building lots of comb and looking happy. We’ll see in a couple of week if they choose to stick around in my DIY top bar hive. Check back to see how the CG bees take to their new home. 

Honeylove Swarm Capture.

Chelsea and I drove out to Glendale a couple of weeks ago to respond to a couple calls on the Backwards Beekeepers rescue hotline and were able to capture two beautiful swarms. And just in time too. The exterminator showed up just as I was boxing up the second swarm from the hedge in front of a triplex. He wasn’t thrilled about missing the opportunity to bill his client, but was happy that the bees would be given a new home. Apparently this wasn’t the first time the Backwards Beekeepers beat him to a swarm. 

We brought both swarms home. One was added to an existing box that had bees from a couple small swarms (newspaper method) and the other was given its own hive box on our roof. I checked the hives today and both had significant comb in at least 6 frames - one in the top box the other in the bottom. Both hives have laying queens who seem content to call our yard home. 

I’ve been kicking myself for not having taken a better ‘before’ photo of the front yard, but was able to pull this old image off of Google Street View.  

I’ve been kicking myself for not having taken a better ‘before’ photo of the front yard, but was able to pull this old image off of Google Street View.  

I couldn’t help but notice this guy buzzing noisily about in the yard, seemingly in competition with another male Valley carpenter bee  for claim to the nectar bounty. He also didn’t seem to care much for our resident hummingbird Ernest. Males like this one are golden with bright green eyes, whereas female Valley carpenter bees are metallic black and look like some sort of Matrix nanobot. Carpenter bees get their name because they burrow into wood to nest. Unlike honeybees, they live alone and don’t cooperate with other bees in the production of honey.  

I love to see all the wildlife that has been drawn to the native and drought tolerant plants - California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica), Santa Barbara Sage (Salvia leucantha), Hot Lips Sage (Salvia microphylla), etc. Chelsea is learning about creating habitat for California’s native bees and pollinators. She found some plants that bees love, like California Lilac and Deerweed. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.  

Chelsea and I went over to Renata’s house last week to pick up the bees that Roberta had trapped out from the wall. The bees had taken to the comb and were happily feeding when I opened up the trap.

Chelsea, who is by now completely hooked on beekeeping, filmed as I coaxed the bees into their new hive box and tied the comb into a frame to give them something to eat while they get established. Though introduced rather abruptly, they seem to have merged with the small swarm I had captured days earlier. So far, so good. 

We hedged our bets a little to convince the bees our backyard is a suitable home by building a small DIY fountain. Didn’t take them long to figure out what to do.

GardenDog doesn’t see what all the fuss is about but appreciates any reason to be outside. She especially likes the opportunity to show off how fast she can race through the yard. 

Chelsea planted a succulent garden and some hot lips sage around the fountain - stay tuned for some photos. 

The bees got their new hive boxes today. So far they seem to be happy, and didn’t object at all to being moved from the swarm capture box into their new digs. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll stick around to keep Whiskey and I company in the garden. 
I set the hive boxes on top of a few cinder blocks inside a concrete mixing tub. The intention here is create a moat to keep the ants out while the hive gains enough strength to fight off any advances.
My co-worker had the Backwards Beekeepers out to her apartment last week to trap-out a swarm that was setting up shop in the wall. I hope to add these bees to the bees we collected from the water meter in Mar Vista. 

The bees got their new hive boxes today. So far they seem to be happy, and didn’t object at all to being moved from the swarm capture box into their new digs. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll stick around to keep Whiskey and I company in the garden. 

I set the hive boxes on top of a few cinder blocks inside a concrete mixing tub. The intention here is create a moat to keep the ants out while the hive gains enough strength to fight off any advances.

My co-worker had the Backwards Beekeepers out to her apartment last week to trap-out a swarm that was setting up shop in the wall. I hope to add these bees to the bees we collected from the water meter in Mar Vista.