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Tag Archives | exterminator

HONEYLOVER OF THE MONTH: Ruth Askren

BEES RESCUED FROM: A pile of abandoned carpet-padding in a garage in Bel Aire, two back-to-back wooden fences between neighbors’ yards in Van Nuys; a swarm on a cactus in Pacific Palisades; a tree trap-out in Baldwin Hills; and an overcrowded hive a beekeeper wanted to get rid of.   

When I was a kid I would catch bees and keep them in a jar for a few hours, just to watch them (– I did this with lizards and spiders too!). I became a beekeeper in my 50’s as a project for my aging dad and I to do together, because we both love to tinker, and beekeeping is definitely a hobby for tinkerers! A retired engineer, he enjoyed designing a great anti-ant hive stand and often comes up with new and ingenious solutions for various bee problems. My hives are on my parents’ property in Pacific Palisades, where Dad can keep an eye on them. 

As I wanted to learn more than I could teach myself, I joined the Backwards Beekeepers club and soon began participating in volunteer feral bee-rescues. Saving bee colonies seemed a logical outcome of my naturalist tendencies. I loved being able to see into the world of wild creatures, not in a jar! And, like my dad, I’m obsessed with tools and this work enables me to use most every kind! Learning about others’ beekeeping methods has been a fun and satisfying part of the project. Now I run Bee Capture, a bee rescue business (www.beecapture.com), taking bees out of walls, attics and trees all over the LA basin.

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gardendog:

FEATURED BEEKEEPER: 
Ed (Redondo Beach, CA)

Ed, a member of Backwards Beekeepers, is a man on a mission. His first encounter with bees came when a hive set up shop in his property. Not knowing his options, Ed had an exterminator out to get rid of the bees – a decision that haunts him to this day. As a gardener and wildlife lover, Ed set out to find a better option, a way to redeem himself. 

After some googling, Ed found the Backwards Beekeepers and the rest is history. He’s got bee fever as bad as anyone. 

In addition to going out and rescuing bees himself, Ed made friends with an exterminator who he convinced to do live captures. She now drops off at least three swarms a week. Ed basically runs a bee orphanage – connecting people who need bees with bees in need. 

Today we scooped up three swarms from him – two of which went to a new home in Laguna Beach 

The third of Ed’s rescues went to newbie beek Mark in Woodland Hills. 

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gardendog: Honeylove Swarm Capture

“Chelsea and I drove out to Glendale a couple of weeks ago to respond to a couple calls on the Backwards Beekeepers rescue hotline and were able to capture two beautiful swarms. And just in time too. The exterminator showed up just as I was boxing up the second swarm from the hedge in front of a triplex. He wasn’t thrilled about missing the opportunity to bill his client, but was happy that the bees would be given a new home. Apparently this wasn’t the first time the Backwards Beekeepers beat him to a swarm.”

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