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March 20, 2014


Anne H

Hi Joe,

the hive in question in your photo can't be moved. That option was explored as well as many others. The good news is that 2 beekeepers from Burlingame and San Jose spent 2 nights putting a new structure around the tree. The intent is to get the bees to fly up and over into the higher opening.

As you might guess it will take a little bit of time for the bees to learn. All hives are different and it may take some experimentation.

As for people and allergies, I've heard that local honey can mitigate some of the symptoms. I'm not an expert so for that question and guidance in all things bees, I'd consult the San Mateo Beekeepers Guild. Some of them sell honey too.



Hi Anne,

Thank you for being a good steward to that hive. Bees have a tough time these days, and that little colony seems very happy staying put. If it happened to be Caltrans had the beekeepers come to create that 'structure', they get goodie points -- very impressive. I think that tree is at least partially in their ROW.


People get very upset when they come in contact with Nature in an Urban Enviorment.
A neighbor of mine who is in Public Works says that "Every single time-every single time," a person complains about a bee hive, the Park Dept is called. The beehive is killed.. Completely.
I was told that there are bee keepers who are "occasionally" called out by the Park Dept. However, due to access to the hive the Bee Keeper may not be able to reach it. In that case the Park Dept kills them with insectside.
From what I have been told, these cases only happen a few times in a year.
Bee Keepers like to take nests of Yellow Jacket Bee whole. (I once saw a man do it with a special vaccum cleaner.)
There are multiple Medical R&D companies in Silicon Valley/SSF that are attempting to use "the venom" of the Yellow Jacket Bee to help with arthritis pain relief.
The Bee Keepers get paid very well for those Yellow Jacket Bees.

Anne H

Holyroller & Jennifer,

yes, I have heard that about medical R&D companies. The big difference here is these are honeybees, not yellow jackets. I also have to laugh as a kid, I got stung by a nest of yellow jackets and I have arthritis. Hmmm ....causation or correlation;-)

As for killing the beehive, I think it depends on location and size. I do know that when I spoke to some county folks last month, they said they have *never* killed a honeybee hive. Yellow jackets are probably a different matter, but I didn't ask.

The majority of this honeybee hive is in the tree trunk and no aerosol can reach. Neighbors have tried and I'm sure they were doing this with the best intention to protect people. Instead, it just aggravates the honeybees.

The same goes for vacuuming as the tree prevents it. One of the beekeepers who helped out, Art (www.thebeemobile.com) had all that equipment and more. My understanding is vacuuming would require more access to the hive which would mean cutting into that tree, which is protected.

I don't know who was responsible for running with this plan, but it looks promising and the neighbors should give it time. I do know that one of the beekeepers was initially called by CalTrans over a year ago. But, the city and county have also sent people out.

The tree is in one of those zones, where as a bystander, I couldn't tell you who had jurisdiction because of proximity to the sidewalk. I'm sure the property owner could tell you more.


Thanks Anne H for your thoughtful comments.
The more we learn about the importance of a bee's impact on every human life on the planet, the more important it is to protect them, at "almost" any cost.
No Bee's
No Food

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