By Judy O'Loughlin 

Photos Courtesy of Judy O'Loughlin

This story began on June 16, when a powerful windstorm blew a big cottonwood limb down. The big limb caught another limb and tore the front face of that limb off as it came down. The front face was the protection on the east side for an active honeybee hive. These poor bees were upset. The old comb fell to the ground and the worker bees quickly surrounded their honey stores and their queen.

This limb was up in the cottonwood tree about 35 feet, too high to reach to try to "capture" the hive. We called local beekeeper, and bee charmer (literally) Travis Kirkland. He came by the next morning to offer suggestions. The height was still a major drawback.

Some plans were made, and action was begun to see how to save this hive. Meanwhile, the height issue continued to be a problem.

Then on July 21, another windstorm blows through and lo and behold, the hive limb comes down, hangs up on a limb held by the telephone line. Now, we're within reach.

Travis and his helper, Bill Overholt, came over for another visit and a revised plan. The plan was to keep the hive together in the limb, trim as much as possible off the ends and place the hive and limb into a big box (top-bar-hive style) and thus protect them, especially before winter.

This move happened on July 25 and I'm happy to report that the bees are working from their new home going in and out with their little legs loaded with pollen to store more for winter.

Pollinators are in decline and this affects our food sources, https://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/resources-and-outreach/globally-pollinators-are-in-decline

If you come across a hive, please don't exterminate them, but call the Grant County Extension Service at 575-388-1559, and we'll connect you with a Beekeeper like Travis and Bill to relocate them and preserve our local bees!

[Editor's Note: Judy told the Beat that the bees were "nice bees and not at all aggressive," so she is pleased to have saved the beehive and its valuable occupants.]

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