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Jun 4, 2021

Emergency Bee Evac! Garden ReHab Phase 4 Fencing, Coop Rehab 2.0

Emergency Bee Evac! 
I love bees, always have, always will! When I came out mid-afternoon Wednesday, into the back garden, I noticed there was something all over some fence boards. When I looked at it for a minute I realized it was moving and it was covered with bees!

I called Dave right away to see if there was a beekeeper who could come and collect the swarm safely and keep them. Luckily we had two bee keepers come over, one was a master, one an apprentice. They came over and removed the swarm gently and safely. Took them several hours, luckily we haven't planted the veggies yet so they had plenty of room to work. They said we were the nicest people they've ever worked with and will bring us some honey from their other hives! We had to give them some money even though they refused at first, because they were in 95-degree heat, cooking trying to save these bees. It was 103 yesterday, record heat!!! Apparently they were looking for a new hive and were Italian bees which I have never heard of. It all ended up very well. The swarm and the queen found a new home and all is well in their bee world! Maybe someday I can have my own hives! They removed several fence boards and put the hive box (not sure waht it's called?) in the easement. They found the queen in the grass behind the fence, and got her safely into the new hive box thingy-

Bulk of the bees on the back of the boards

Still swarming a bit

New hive box mostly full

By 9 pm Dave got the fence boards up back up.  We let the hens out of the coop and the hive box got picked up after dark. Good outcome! 

Garden ReHab Phase 4 Fencing-
The garden fencing had been around for about 10 years and basically works as a separation between the chicken run/coop and the main backyard garden. When we first built that we used a lot of recycled wood and new chicken wire. With all the weathering it was getting pretty dilapidated, so we decided to do something about it. Dave priced panel fencing and new 4' x 4's. As everybody knows by now lumber prices have really skyrocketed. When I was looking for a gate to go with with the potential new wooden fence I saw a gate and got me thinking. Started wondering what the pricing would be for metal fencing instead? Something that would be really durable but didn't need to be heavy since it's basically just keeps the chicken out. It won't have any big heavy dogs jumping on it or kids climbing on it. Dave and I picked out the design we liked and he went to Home Depot and priced it-

$50.00 for 3 panels, about 3' x 4'

Turned out to only be about $50 more than what we were going to do, but it was much much less labor.  It will probably last longer since it's powder coated and certainly looks nicer. Total was about $250.00.  Here's the before old fence shots-

Hens in the shade area with the mister, nice and cool!

So here's what we did-  temporarily fenced the hens into the shade area with access to the coop-

I helped Dave pull the old fencing out and we made a pile-

We saved some of the chicken wire in case we need some. Dave cut up the wood and it went into the compost bin to be composted by the county. Chicken wire went to recycling. We started with the section closest to the coop-

We leveled as we went (lots to level!) and otherwise was pretty easy! Add the stakes and go on-

Photos From Home Depot

We had some leftover 4x4's that we were able to use to brace the gate. Dave turned one panel into a gate but it was a bit wobbly. A post on either side, worked great! 

Gate made by attaching hinges and a clip

The rest of the sections-

Attached to fence with clip

I will add another ornamental grass to the right of the gate, veggies coming this weekend! 

Shade area, attached to the coop on the left

We added some scrap 2x4's to prevent digging

Attached to the coop with washers and screws

Temporary gate clip, fence attached to post

Again attached to fence

We LOVE it, should last for years to come!!! The yard looks really empty but we will fix that soon! 

Coop Rehab 2.0-
Last week we got the coop pretty well rehabbed. We realized after we put the door up and it was pretty awkward getting in and out. It opened on the right. Dave thought he could go ahead and rotate the door and flip it around, which he did. I went ahead and pulled off the screen panel and replaced the screen with new-

big hole

tools makes it easy!

New screen up, glass cleaned

Dave thought it would be a good idea to put a screen protector up and it was. This weekend one of our grandsons started heading toward the coop and pushed on the screen protector! Great idea!


Judy said...

Wow you two are busy. The new fencing looks so nice. We cant do that here too many coyotes and hawks
We had to use hard wire all the way around and above. We even had to bury the hard wire a few inches cause of diggers. Dont want anything to get at my girls. So nice you were able to save the bees. There were quite a few of them. Looks like your yard projects are coming along great and everything looks so nice.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Judy yes we're in a totally different situation being in an urban area. While we do have some Hawks in the area we only had one incident with one of our smaller chicks. But I was able to rescue her. Yes protecting your flock is all always a really big priority. Dare to look even better when the veggie area is full of things that are green! For planting a bunch this weekend I'm getting some of the seedlings I started into the ground as well

Mama Pea said...

You were so fortunate to have some bee keepers in the area to call to come save that swarm. Italian bees are known for their gentle nature and we've had them many times.

I love that you've used the metal fencing rather than wood and wire. We need to put new railings on our deck and we've actually looked into the metal panels much like you've used. No decision made yet.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes Mama we were really lucky! We called one person and then he sent out a group text and had somebody here pretty fast. I read up on a Italian bees and they definitely need good hives for the cold Winters here. We really love the something so far it's really pretty!

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