While the bees seemed content to go about their business, the Brattins were concerned their children could not resist investigating beyond the comfort level of the bees. They called in Jimmy Christman, a beekeeper hobbiest who lives northwest of Wheaton, to remove the hive.
Christman estimated the hive contained about three pounds of bees, worth about $85 on the market for someone trying to acquire bees. Christman, who has worked with bees for 12 years, was glad to accept the donation, as his collection of four hives had dropped to two after frosts this spring had killed off some of his hives.
Donning a bee suit, Christman cut down the hive, dropping it into a box which he sealed with tape. A large percentage of the bees had been disturbed and had not fallen into the box. By poking a hole into the side of the box, Christman provided an entryway through which most of the bees flew to return to their queen. The entire removal operation took around 15 minutes because of the open location of the hive.
For more information about honey bees, contact Christman at 417-737-3376 or Leon Riggs with the Southwest Missouri Beekeepers Association.