A bee-you-tiful celebration of a different kind took place Wednesday, on Caccamo Lane.
The night before, one of Savannah Bee’s youngest “bee ambassadors” — 9-year-old Hope Vengrow — called. A neighbor had lost a tree during Tropical Storm Isaias. It housed a wild honeybee hive, and would be cut up and removed by a tree service in a day or two.
Hope worried that the bees would be sprayed, or otherwise harmed by the arborists.
Master beekeepers Jim Wood and Mike Lund rode to the rescue. The members of the BackYard Beekeepers Association spent Wednesday locating the nest, using a buzz saw to remove the sections that housed it, gently removing the bees, and relocating them in a Langstroth hive box — only to have them swarm on a 25-foot tree branch above.
Retired Fairfield detective and Aspetuck Land Trust’s Ranger Jim helped next. They MacGyvered a Poland Spring jug to the end of a telescoping pole with a net, safely capturing the entire swarm.
“The chances of catching a swarm are slim to none. Losing their hive to swarming is a way of life for many beekeepers,” says Samantha Bee store manager Julie Cook.
“But Hope’s spirit, and Jim and Mike’s perseverance, saved the bees and the day.”
So tomorrow’s National Honey Bee Day celebration will be extra special. In addition to honey roasted coffee, artisanal teas, all-natural Italian energy drinks called BEEBAD, all-natural plant-based antibacterial soaps and more, from 1 to 4 p.m. you can meet Westport’s newest bee heroes.
SWEET FACT: The Back Yard Beekeepers Association has over 250 members. They meet (virtually and otherwise) the last Tuesday of each month via Zoom, and at Norfield Church in Weston. Their mission is to protect, save and enjoy honey bees and native bees.