Honey Bees After The Storm – Astor Apiaries

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Honey Bees After The Storm

This week was exciting with all of the weather we've had. Tropical Storm Isaias laid waste to trees throughout the city. The sheer number of fallen trees just in our own neighborhood of Astoria, Queens is staggering.

Even outside the city, people have been dealing with the same thing, as well as power outages. One such neighborhood in New Rochelle discovered a tree that fell contained a feral hive. We got the call and went out.

It turns out that what had fallen was only the top half of the tree. The trunk snapped right at the cavity the bees were living in and it fell at least 25 feet to the ground, taking out a powerline with it. Our local power company, ConEd was not interested in touching the tree until the bees were removed, which meant that the local residents would not have power.

Usually, I would have pulled out my 'bee vac' and made quick work of pulling out the bees, but with no power on the block that was not an option. Luckily we were able to locate a chainsaw and I ended up cutting open the log to fully expose the colony. Once I did that, I could remove pieces and knock the bees into some hive equipment I setup. At some point, the queen was part of the bees going into the hive and after a few moments, the majority of confused bees outside the hive started marching in.

It was a 2.5-hour removal altogether, but the bees are now safe and have been relocated to one of our bee yards here in the city. We'll feed them well and do everything we can to get them happy and healthy before the winter. While they were settling into their new home, I salvaged as much of the comb as possible to install into empty frames and add them into the new hive. This gives them a familiar scent and usually keeps them in pretty well. Not to mention that we're able to save some of the resources like honey and brood.

If you come across honey bees, please consider calling a beekeeper before you call the exterminators or reach for the spray bottle. Most beekeepers will do everything they can to get the bees out of harm's way, especially if they are becoming a public nuisance.

- Nick Hoefly


A special thanks to the local residents who came out and snap these photos.

Many times, including this one, we perform free removal services to help out our fellow New Yorkers, especially in extreme circumstances. It still costs time, tolls, gas, etc to get to the bees and do the work in trying to save them. If you'd like to support our efforts, the easiest (and sweetest) thing you can do is buy a jar of honey.

A portion of the profits we make off of every jar goes back to the bees. If you're feeling extra generous you can leave something in our Virtual Tip Jar as you check out. 100% of the money from the Virtual Tip Jar goes to the bees and the expenses associated with keeping them strong and healthy. Thank you!!

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