The aim of our Abell Saves Bees program is to first, raise awareness of the global decline in bee populations and secondly, to take action in supporting the sustainable future of bees. This year, we set up 5 hives across Canada through our Employee Beekeeping Program.
The second program we are running is our Bee Swarm Relocation. When safe to do so, we are committed to humanely relocating bee swarms to a local beekeeper.
We are happy to share with you the latest bee swarm rescue by Mike! We were called to a Chemical Plant near Sarnia, Ontario where a swarm of bees were threatening workers’ safety. Their work in this area was affected and so we had to act quickly to solve the problem.
As soon as the Route Manager, Scott, arrived on site, he identified them as honey bees and contacted his manager, Mike, who is a registered beekeeper with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. They gathered all necessary supplies to remove and relocate the swarm which turned out to be a more complicated job than anticipated – the swarm was starting to build honeycomb and make the location their home!
Here is what Mike had to say about the recovery:
I completed the required work documents and safety analysis then got to work. Suited up with Fire Retardant coveralls, bee jacket and over that wore Fire Retardant disposable coveralls as the bee jacket need to be covered. This facility did not allow any open flame without a Hot Work Permit which takes 24 hours to get approved so this removal had to be done without smoking the bees.
This was a large swarm of about 4000 to 5000 bees. A large tub was required to catch the bees as they were swept from under the scaffolding. Without the use of smoke, they were very irritated and stinging into my clothing and gloves but none got through. I had quite an audience at a distance watching me and the bees swarming around me, I’m sure it was entertaining for them.
Once the Honey Bees were swept from the scaffolding, he then left the bin there for a while trying to get the majority of the bees to enter the bin where the queen was located. Once the bees calmed down, he screened over the top of the bin and placed it in the back of an empty service truck. The side doors were propped open allowing airflow for the long ride home on a hot and humid day.
Once at home Mike’s wife, Marsha, had the bee box and platform ready to go. Mike says she was very excited to get more bees!
Finally, they removed one of the frames from their bee colony at home and placed it into the box to give these bees a good start with food.
“All went well with transferring the Honeybees into their new home and now a couple days later they are settled in and look to bee happy with their new home. At the end of this Abell was able to save a bee colony from destruction and our client was very happy with the services provided.”
Great work Mike, Marsha and Scott!