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Tangerine Trees, Marmalade Hives

The other night fellow Backwards Beekeeper Roberta and I responded to a call in Culver City from a guy claiming to have a hive the size of two basketballs in his tangerine tree. Sure enough, we showed up to discover one of the largest tree hives any of us had seen. Despite being nearly sunset, we couldn’t resist and decided to try to take the whole thing while all the bees were in for the night. 

We were going to need back-up for this one, so Roberta called in Yvonne for some extra support. The three of us tediously trimmed away branches overhead, freeing the hive of the thousands of buttressing branches needed to keep this massive hive in place. Eventually we got it to a place where we could cut off one branch and bring the whole thing down. I held on to the limb as Roberta and Yvonne hacked away with a pole trimmer. After what felt like forever, we sawed our way through and were able to bring it down. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JfNgGpdgkeU/TgIfkIgoCUI/AAAAAAAATPk/PUP1X7vEwV0/s1024/Screen%252520shot%2525202011-06-22%252520at%2525209.58.46%252520AM.png

We trimmed the branches some more to allow us to stick the whole thing in a box. Surprisingly the bees were very cooperative throughout, all things considered. 

It was a major team effort and a lot of fun. Thanks Roberta and Yvonne, you guys are amazing!

Stay tuned for a video of this hive being cut-out and tied into their new home in a Langstroth hive.  

Chelsea McFarland

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