Thursday, July 30, 2015

TPC Sawgrass: Honey Bee Management

Yesterday (07/30), with the help of the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association our team was able to safely manage and maintain an active honey bee hive while eliminating any risk to people.  A hive had been identified in a high traffic area of the property but with the expert help of Jim Altmiller, Raw Honey Bee Removal, we were able to encourage the bees to access the hive from a different location.
Honey bees are a very important member of our diverse eco-system and have been used for thousands of years to pollinate flowers and plants.  Honey bees are not aggressive by nature but will sting when 'provoked' by quick movements.  The bees live in a highly organized society that has very specific roles that include: nurses, guards, grocers, housekeepers, and construction workers.  Due to the importance of honey bees in our environment we called Jim with the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association to ensure that the management of the bees was best for their well being.  
The bee hive had grown in a rotted hollow of a tree.  As the rot continued to grow down through the trunk a new entrance for the bees formed at the base of the tree.  This new hive entrance made the interactions between people and bees inevitable.  Rather than dispose of the bees, measures were taken to seal up the new entrance so that the bees could continue pollinating our environment without coming in direct contact with people.  The bees will now use an entrance higher up in the tree away from people.

 Jim Altmiller felt comfortable enough around the bees to pet them.
 Jim and Spencer Cox, TPC Sawgrass, discuss the future entrance for the bees high up in the tree. 
Jim used a tea tree oil spray to disperse the bees before using an industrial sealant to close up the crack in the tree.  

For more information on honey bees and assistance when handling them contact your local beekpeers association.