Mr. Cross & Ms. Kiphart

Re-home the Honeybees

Video created by Mr. Cross

By Lila K.
November 1, 2018

The adventure started when Mr. Cross, 7th Grade English teacher and bee lover, was sitting in his office. Upper Schooler Corina D. ’21 came running in with some news: a beehive needed rescuing. The hive was in a sprinkler valve box under a Jacaranda tree behind Pitcairn, near the native garden, and would most likely be exterminated. So, Mr. Cross decided to investigate with Ms. Kiphart. The bees seemed gentle, and even though Mr. Cross and Ms. Kiphart didn’t feel cut out for the job, they decided to give bee rescuing a try. With the help of YouTube videos and the website Beekeeping Like a Girl, they were a smoker, beekeeping suits, and hive box away from saving them.

Once suited up, Ms. Cross and Ms. Kiphart encountered a problem. They had bought the wrong hive box. But with some quick thinking, they constructed slings from ribbon and thumbtacks. They placed the comb pieces and scooped the remaining bees inside. The number of bees was extensive. Wondering if they had made a big mistake, they soldiered on.

While packing up, yet another roadblock appeared. The strap wouldn’t tighten the whole way, and the lid to the hive was slightly open.  They couldn’t just abandon the project, not now, after all the effort. With great care, they set off for home. Ms. Kiphart drove while Mr. Cross talked to the bees reassuringly;  “OK girls, we’ll be there soon,” and “Here comes a speed bump!”

To Mr. Cross and Ms. Kiphart’s surprise, they managed to transfer all the bees to their new homestead hives successfully.  However, sadly, a few days later after all the hard work and effort, the bees had absconded for a new hive elsewhere, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence.  Instead of feeling discouraged, Mr. Cross and Ms. Kiphart said that it was an extraordinary experience. For one thing, they managed to save the bees from extermination and learned a lot from their many mishaps and mistakes along the way.  Although it was their first foray into hive removal, they have one more skill in their beekeeping toolkit.


Interested in learning more about urban beekeeping?  Check out these articles:

               Why Urban Beekeeping is Right for Los Angeles

               Backyard Beekeeping Approved in Los Angeles