SALT LAKE CITY – It was the biggest beehive that that Ogden beekeeper Vic Bachman has ever removed – a dozen feet long, packed inside the eaves of a cabin in Ogden Valley.
“We figure we got 15 pounds of bees out of there,” said Bachman, who said that converts to about 60,000 honeybees.
Bachman was called to the A-frame cabin last month in Eden, Utah. Taking apart a panel that hid roof rafters, he had no idea he would find honeycombs packed 12 feet long, 4 feet wide and 16 inches deep.
The honeybees had been making the enclosed cavity their home since 1996, hardly bothering the homeowners. The cabin was rarely used, but when the owners needed to occupy it while building another home nearby, they decided the beehive wasn’t safe for their two children.
They didn’t want to kill the honeybees, a species in decline that does yeoman’s work pollinating flowers and crops.
So they called Bachman, owner of Deseret Hive Supply, a hobbyist store that can’t keep up with demand for honeybees. Bachman used a vacuum cleaner to suck the bees into a cage.
Utah calls itself the Beehive State, a symbol of industriousness. Whether this was Utah’s largest beehive is unknown, but Bachman said it would rank highly.
“It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve never seen one that big.”
Bachman reassembled the hive in a yard of his North Ogden home.
“We caught the queen and were able to keep her,” Bachman said. “The hive is in my backyard right now and is doing well.”