Followup: Storm-evicted, & rescued, Lincoln Park bees’ ‘comeback’

In addition to the eroded shorelines we’ve shown you, Monday night’s fierce wind also brought down trees – and as seen here Tuesday afternoon, a wild beehive came crashing down with one of those trees in Lincoln Park. In the comments on that story, we all learned they’d been rescued … and their rescuer Rob added a comment a day later with an update. We e-mailed Rob to ask if he might share new photos and more information on how the bees are doing; he obliged, with some background:

By the path along the bluff of Lincoln Park, a tall fir tree grew and a half dead maple tree had grown with its trunk wrapped around that of the fir. In the space between these trunks and in the rotting maple a wild bee-hive made its home. I have watched this hive over about the past four years, but last year I had concluded that the hive must have failed during the long wet spring.

I was wrong, and the hive must simply have made itself another entrance from the one I had been watching, because when Monday night’s wind took down the fir and the rotted maple with it, there was the hive smashed up on the ground in among the tangle and rubble of the shattered trees. The temperature was in the teens Tuesday morning, so I was utterly astonished to see bees still alive and clustering around the broken fragments of honeycomb.

I keep bees, but all my good equipment is stored at my bee yard on Bainbridge. Still I had an old box lying around, so I scooped up all that I could of this hive, thinking it was a lost cause, but worth the try for the sake of sentiment if nothing else.

Amazingly, this tough old hive seems to be making a comeback. At the moment I just have the boxed fragments in the spare bedroom keeping warm, but the level of activity and work around the old combs makes me think the ladies may be viable. I have long felt that different hives have distinct personalities, and this one is certainly a rugged, determined survivor.

This weekend I’ll be able to make a trip over to Bainbridge and bring back a proper home for the girls, along with some fresh frames and comb foundation, and set them up so they can make a go of it. I’ve long wanted to make an observation hive, so I think I will set this up indoors for the time being with a sealed gangway out a window. That way, in their weakened state, they will have a better chance and will be less likely to starve for energy to keep warm.

Thank you to WSBlog and all the followers and commenters who have taken an interest in this little saga. I will send updates of news of their progress. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

39 Replies to "Followup: Storm-evicted, & rescued, Lincoln Park bees' 'comeback'"

  • j9 November 25, 2010 (10:51 pm)

    Very cool! Thank you for taking care of these bees.

  • Kathy November 25, 2010 (10:53 pm)

    What a neat story. I look forward to the updates!

  • old timer November 25, 2010 (11:17 pm)

    Wonderful story.
    Great spirit.
    Thank you both.
    Best of luck to the bees!

  • bee lover November 25, 2010 (11:56 pm)

    you rule.

  • DM November 26, 2010 (12:01 am)

    Thank you Rob!

  • Alkira November 26, 2010 (12:35 am)

    Wow. What a good person you are. Updates would be cool.

  • Genesee Hill November 26, 2010 (5:54 am)

    Thank you!

  • SomeGuy November 26, 2010 (6:57 am)

    Nice work Rob! Just to clarify:

    Bees = okay to take home

    Seal pups = NOT okay to take home

  • SlickG November 26, 2010 (7:10 am)

    Great story, good luck!

  • miws November 26, 2010 (7:51 am)

    Thanks for the update, Rob and WSB!



  • JH November 26, 2010 (8:15 am)

    Rob is a way cool guy!

  • islewrite November 26, 2010 (8:39 am)

    I concur and it seems to be the “buzz” all around town: Rob is the grooviest!

  • K November 26, 2010 (8:43 am)

    Thanks Rob!
    How many people can say that they actually have bees in their house and they are happy about it.

  • kate November 26, 2010 (9:14 am)

    Love that story!

  • Shari Kruse November 26, 2010 (9:18 am)

    What a sterling act of kindness. Rob… you are one fine person!

  • DC November 26, 2010 (9:26 am)

    Thank you Rob!

  • Harvey November 26, 2010 (10:13 am)

    Very cool!! Bee careful.

  • WS Mom November 26, 2010 (10:24 am)

    Rob, thank you so much for taking care of those bees! You remind me that there is compassion in the world!

  • Kayzel November 26, 2010 (11:38 am)

    My favorite story of the week. Thanks.

  • lina rose November 26, 2010 (11:56 am)

    Very cool! I have always liked bees and thought they were interesting but this story makes me almost want to snuggle up with them they are so cute. thanks to rob and thanks to wsb for posting this sweet and important story

  • Elikapeka November 26, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    Great story! I love happy endings – keep us posted!

  • sean November 26, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    This rocks. Thank you for making the effort. I was sad when I read the observation after the storm. Now, I just shared the story with my wife. Thanks WSB for reporting.

  • Kristina November 26, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    I love it! Thank you.

  • waterworld November 26, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    I hope we get regular updates on the bee recovery and rebuild effort. What a heartwarming story!

  • JumboJim November 26, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Nice work Rob! Two questions come to mind. How could these bees go on without a queen or did you find her among the remains?

    Also, any plans on reintroducing them or some of them, to the park?

  • Babs November 26, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    Rob your a simple hero. Please keep WSB updated, nothing better then a story like this one to follow to a happy ever after ending (I so hope). (Once again we can count on the awesome WSB to cover big to small, stories that matter – maybe in the follow-up how bout a pic of Rob with the girls… way cool.)

  • lenguamor November 26, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    Great story. Thanks for your service to our community, Rob.

  • TM November 26, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    Righteous, nice rally Rob.

  • Jill November 26, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    You’re the bees’ knees, Rob! That’s the best story I’ve seen all week. Thanks to you and WSB!

  • Craig Young November 27, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Thanks Rob. This reminds me of my childhood back in Missouri when we had bee hives and sometimes they would sworm and we would have to get out things to bang on and to try and get them to stay in one place so we could get them back into a new hive. We also captured some wild hives.

    Let us know how things are progressing form time to time.

    Thanks to WSB for the story.

  • newnative November 27, 2010 (10:20 am)

    To answer JumboJim, yes, the queen is among the survivors.

  • WS Luna November 27, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Awwww! Wonderful! Do keep us updated.

  • Noelle November 27, 2010 (1:18 pm)

    Amazingly GOOD News for that hive! Great job saving them and keeping them warm!

  • RJB November 27, 2010 (4:10 pm)

    Way to go Rob..! Nature says “thanks”.

  • b-squared November 27, 2010 (5:19 pm)

    Thank you so much for making the effort, Rob. You are a gem!

  • Jason November 28, 2010 (8:32 am)

    How about WSB sponsors a live feed hive-cam??? ;)

    • WSB November 28, 2010 (10:12 am)

      Next best thing, Rob has sent another update with photos, and we’ll have that up before 11 am if breaking news doesn’t intervene … TR

  • Richard Lindstrom November 29, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    I wondered what the buzz was all about and thought it was a sting operation. I’ll bee keeping watch at this honey of a site….Rob saved the queen!!

  • SAW November 30, 2010 (1:52 am)

    Wonderful, wonderful story. Thanks so very much to all involved. It’s heartening to learn that there are people in our community who care so much for species other than their own.

    It renews my faith in the goodness of humans. I love this story.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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