Contributed by Paul Przybylowicz, citizen journalist and bee whisperer. Photos by Rob Williamee, Angel Przybylowicz and Sophie Fluhrer.
One of the Organic Farm honeybee hives launched a giant swarm (about 36,000 bees) which landed 50 ft up in a Douglas-fir behind the compost facility. Fortunately, a Facilities crew was trimming trees with a lift nearby and a conversation with Mark Kormondy resulted in a plan. Angel Aviles (Facilities) volunteered to accompany Paul Przybylowicz (Farm faculty) to retrieve the honeybees early in the morning. With Angel at the controls, the lift took the rescue team to the perfect position. The bees were clustered tightly due to the cool temperatures, which made pruning the surrounding branches and capturing the swarm in a bag easier. Once back on the ground, the bees were transferred to a beehive where they’re still living at the Farm.