This evening as Robb and I were drinking coffee, I got a call from an artist who has a studio near where I work. He had noticed a swarm of bees on some juniper bushes, and called the local beekeeping hotline to find someone to help remove the bees. I was that someone.
It's a lot of fun, going out on these sorts of calls. I meet fascinating people -- the kind of people who are aware of their surroundings, and who take action to help random insects. They make the effort to find a local beekeeper, instead of ignoring the situation or calling an exterminator.
This particular swarm was probably the easiest I've ever collected. They were just a few feet off the ground, so I didn't need to bring along a ladder. Eric, the bee-finder, was willing to help me carefully cut off the juniper branch, so that I could move it, with all the bees into a waiting hive-box. While we were waiting for all the straggler-bees to join their friends in their safe new home, we chatted about mutual friends and he showed me his very impressive studio.
I drove back to East Oakland with a smile on my face, and a car full of bees.
Tomorrow while I'm at work, Robb will move the bees out of the branch-filled box and into a tidy beehive in our back yard. I like how collecting homeless bees is a group effort.