Local beekeeper looking for help in high-stakes hive rescue
A local beekeeper is asking for help to rescue a colony of honeybees from a junior high school.
Beekeeper Dustin Bajer was alerted to a swarm of around 30,000 bees collecting at the top of a second-story window of the Highlands School in north Edmonton. When he tried to coax the bees into a temporary hive, he found the swarm had begun building honeycomb and making a hive on the high ledge.
Bajer said the rescue would be easy if it weren’t for the height. A tall ladder would work, but Bajer said a bucket truck or help from the Edmonton Fire Department would be preferable and safer.
The bees pose no risk to the public, but the hive's location poses a risk to the bees.
A swarm would typically rest on the ledge while scouting for a permanent place to build a hive. However, Bajer said the bees had been trapped on the ledge by the rain, huddling together for warmth.
“Honeybees are like us - they’re tropical organisms that have figured out how to live in colder climates,” Bajer said. “Things get a little tricky here in Edmonton once fall hits. So it would be very tough for them to survive into our winter out in the open like that.”
Bajer has a home for the bees at the John Janzen Nature Centre - he just needs a lift to get them there. Anyone who might be able to help is encouraged to contact Dustin Bajer on social media.