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August General Meeting

posted Jul 29, 2011, 11:50 AM by Vickery Place   [ updated Jul 31, 2011, 10:32 AM ]
At the August 11 general meeting, in addition to the great food from the Vickery Place Recipe Book, we shall have a presentation from Beekeepers, about beekeeping, threats to bee populations, myths/facts about bees, plants that support bees, and "do's and don'ts" around bees. 

Those of you who have walked the 5300 block of Goodwin Ave know the bee colony that has been there for a long time.

Around 1831 a Bois’d Ark tree started on the land that eventually became 5327 Goodwin Avenue in Vickery Place. Once used as a property boundary, this wonderful tree grew into an essential shade tree for the house that was built during the 1920’s after Vickery Place was platted. 

This past year the 90 year old house was sold and demolition underway. Along with the home, the 180 year old Bois‘d Ark was scheduled to come down. 

A thriving honey bee hive had developed in the tree trunk during the 1950’s. Sandra Smith, prior owner of the home had recalled that each spring hundreds of honey bees would come out of the hive and form a huge ball that would hang from a branch of the tree. This activity is known to bee keepers as swarming which is a natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. 

This past February with a team effort of tree trimmers, bee keepers, an independent backhoe operator, a concerned neighbor, a housing developer, and even a City street crew, the bees were successfully re-located to a new home, just across the street. 

This process started early in the morning by screening off the exit of the bees. Then slowly section by section the tree trimmers made cuts in the tree until the top of the hive could be seen. This small opening was also screened off to contain the bees. Next, the tree base was cut and with the help of the backhoe it was gently laid on the ground. The base revealed an intact thriving hive and most importantly the queen. This opening was also screened off. The resulting ‘hive’ was now a 10 foot long, 3 foot diameter slab of Bois’d Ark. Again, with the use of the backhoe, the trunk was carefully lifted across the street to its current resting point. This one ton section of the great old tree sits peacefully today to allow the bees to just be.

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