Rescued Lincoln Park bees, followup #2: Tunnel, box, vacuum…

If you peer at that photo, you’ll see Rob, aka the bee rescuer, who has sent one more followup, after noting the intense interest in the previous chapter of the saga. If you’re just joining us: Monday’s storm brought down trees in Lincoln Park – and one had been home to a wild beehive, found in pieces on the ground, as shown here. The bees were rescued by a West Seattleite who usually keeps bees elsewhere; after he posted an update in comments here, we asked if he would share more info/photos, which he did here – and now, today, even more in a new chapter, involving a box, vacuum, and tunnel:

On Friday, the roads were clear and Thanksgiving well-celebrated, so I was able to fetch some better bee-keeping equipment for the “rescued” Lincoln Park hive. I repacked the hive into the new box, along with fresh comb foundation frames:

I improvised a “bee vacuum” to suck up bees who had chosen to fly around the room instead of letting themselves be moved into their new home:

This was just a plastic gallon jug mounted on a dust-buster, with a mesh bag covering the vacuum intake, so the bees wouldn’t get sucked in. I could then pour these stragglers back into the hive and seal it up.

In order to keep the hive indoors in its weakened state, I constructed a sealed cardboard gangway out a gap in a window:

The girls have found their passageway, but are still not too enthusiastic about how cold it is outdoors. If this configuration proves stable, I intend to keep them like this until perhaps April at which time, they’ll should be ready to move back outside. We’ll see how it goes. For more pictures and video, visit Trileigh‘s “Bees in the Bedroom” collection on Flickr.

The top photo, by the way, not only shows Rob through the window, but that’s also the outside view of the bee box and “tunnel” entry.

35 Replies to "Rescued Lincoln Park bees, followup #2: Tunnel, box, vacuum..."

  • Crowe November 28, 2010 (11:38 am)

    One more reason to love West Seattle and the amazing community and people who live here! Thank you Rob! We were so sad about the bees, and now, so happy!
    We hope the gals do well. You are a bee hero.

  • coffee November 28, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    Truely amazing!

  • trisha November 28, 2010 (12:22 pm)

    Wow! Way to go! Save those bees…in North America it is believed that 30% of food for human consumption originates from plants pollinated by bees, and they are disappearing!

    If you are one that still uses poisons in your garden (I can’t believe anyone still does!), please stop. There are organic ways to do it. And maybe we should all start raising bees!

  • bee lover November 28, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    So when do we know if the girls are in the clear–or do we already know that? Will these bees make honey? If so, can I purchase some?

    This is great, thanks so much for the update!

  • PeterT November 28, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    I’ve been reading this with great interest since Monday.

    Truly, this guy is one of ‘Nature’s Noblemen’. We all should take as much care of the creatures we share this planet with.

    Wonderful work, Rob. You set a wonderful example for us all. A toast goes out to you this evening.

  • JanS November 28, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    Rob, you’re ingenious. Thanks. Especially love the bee vac :)

  • LeeT November 28, 2010 (12:55 pm)

    Wow. What a great story. Thanks, Rob!

  • Ken November 28, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    And if a burglar tries to enter through that window, he’ll get a big surprise…

  • RJB November 28, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    Again..thanks Rob…you are truly a beeutiful person!!

  • SpeakLoud November 28, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    I just love this story-I hope it gets picked up by a major newsource-it is heart warming and shows that one person can indeed make a difference-it’s always the little things that count.

    • WSB November 28, 2010 (2:44 pm)

      SL, this IS a “major” news source – for our area :) – but we know what you mean. There’s actually at least one potentially pursuing it that I know of (they asked us for contact info but then apparently found it themselves). We’ve also suggested the link to our partners at the Times, since a major part of our informal partnership involves linking directly to WSB stories of potentially wider interest now and then. P.S. We ran into Rob at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market right after we put up this update – he was looking for one of the vendors that does or might sell pollen, but they weren’t there this week. And he reiterated how great it is to see the interest in the saga. We concur – more people need to realize how vital bees are to the ecosystem that supports us all … TR

  • Babs November 28, 2010 (2:34 pm)

    This is so marvy, I just cannot get enough of this simple BEEautiful story. Thanks for sharing, keep us posted on the girls.

  • JumboJim November 28, 2010 (3:08 pm)

    If the bees are vital to the ecosystem, and I don’t doubt that, will they be returned to it if feasible? I would love to hear some follow up on that point. Thanks for the coverage WSB, I do love any stories relating to local wildlife.

  • Forest November 28, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    I’m confused. My assumption has always been that hives contained one female queen and countless male workers. Why does the keeper refer to all the bees in this hive as female?

  • marty November 28, 2010 (3:31 pm)

    Good job MacGyver!! That gives me a good buzz.

  • Rob November 28, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    Jumbo Jim’s question about reintroducing them to the wild is a good one, and one I’m looking into. At the outset it would seem to be a challenge to find them an appropriate site — it’s the kind of thing they normally must choose for themselves, according to their own inscrutable criteria. And for the time being, I’m sure they are going to need the warmth and feeding if they are going to make it through winter, having lost so much of their stores. Anyhow, I live right in their old neighborhood, within a quarter mile from their old haunts. So when I move them outside, or even before I do, they’ll still be working in the same ecosystem.

  • waterworld November 28, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    I’m so glad to hear the girls are safe and recovering. They have such a wonderful caregiver. Please continue with regular updates!

  • Noelle November 28, 2010 (4:18 pm)

    Very cool! I would be afraid to have them buzzing around my house! Very smart way to catch them! Good job !

  • JumboJim November 28, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    Rob, thanks for the info. While I liked the idea of re-introducing them to the park, I did have trouble imagining quite how it would happen. I imagine there would be at least a small segment of the public that wouldn’t like it, despite the love they’re getting here. Glad to know they are still so close to “home”.
    I guess the Bumblebees, Mason bees and others can pick up some of the work load for pollinating Lincoln Park’s plants.

  • clifton November 28, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    This is amazing… Thanks for the good work Rob .. and WSB… in keeping us up to date!!
    Thank You!!

  • Rebecca November 28, 2010 (5:22 pm)

    Great work Rob! My husband and I are beekeepers also and have rescued several colonies from various locations. The most interesting was a rotting telephone pole in Kent. We managed to move the bees, in the pole, to some private forest land in Kitsap County. Wild bees are out there, but they definitely need protection.

  • michael November 28, 2010 (8:16 pm)

    good work rob !!!!!

  • LyndaB November 28, 2010 (10:16 pm)

    cool. i used to catch houseflies with a dust buster those many summers ago. i would then release them, too. :)

  • md November 28, 2010 (10:23 pm)

    I really enjoyed knowing there is someone like this in our community. Good job!

  • Adrien November 28, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    Hello Robby! its your nephew in china, great work, very cool stuff!
    :) love you

  • sun*e November 29, 2010 (8:57 am)

    “The worker bees are actually female!” – of course they are… if you wanaa job done right! ;)
    Great job Rob… very impressive and inventive!

  • JoanE O\\\'Brien November 29, 2010 (10:05 am)

    BRAVO! It’s been said before but worth repeating – this is exactly why I love West Seattle and the great folks who live here. Hope to find a way to pass on the good works myself today.

  • jackie November 29, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    It’s great to hear that the bees are being looked after and are doing well. When I first heard about the fallen hive, I was really upset. (I’ve been following colony collapse disorder for years and I worry about our little pollinating friends!) I’m glad to hear they’re alive and well, and they get to do their thing in their original ecosystem (or pretty close, anyway). Thanks so much Rob, I’m glad you took the time and energy to try and save this hive. I’m looking forward to more updates! :-)

  • k November 29, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    Thank you Rob!

    If you have ever thought about holding a beekeeping class or asking for spaces to put a man made hive, now is the time.

  • Pat November 30, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    wonderful! Is the Queen still there?

  • JumboJim November 30, 2010 (6:13 pm)

    Yeah, I asked the same question. The Queen lives! Long live the Queen!

  • Suzanne December 1, 2010 (1:59 am)

    Do you still need pollen? I have 8 oz. that I bought earlier this year at the WS farmer’s market. It’s from Sweet As Can Bee Honey Farm. I’d be happy to donate it to your bees.

    • WSB December 1, 2010 (2:02 am)

      I’ll send you Rob’s address – he cleared me to do that for such offers … TR

  • Rob December 1, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Thank you, Suzanne, and Tracy. Yes, please!

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