"Santa Barbara’s Bee Whisperer"

"There is a man among us who talks to the bees. They spoke recently on a warm Sunday morning in my driveway. Nick Wigle was standing with his hands on his hips, squinting down at a small gas-meter vault packed with 3,000 stinging residents. “All right, guys,” he said. “We’re going to take this nice and easy.” The hive buzzed back, its low tone telegraphing the gentleness unique to Santa Barbara's bees.

I’d liked the idea of hosting honeybees, but the young swarm, recently propagated from its mother hive somewhere in our Mission Canyon neighborhood, chose a particularly inconvenient time and place to move in, right near the front door and in the middle of some construction work. We wouldn’t hit them with pesticides?--??we worried about the modern plight of the bumblebee known as colony collapse disorder??==??so we looked up live removal services. Wigle, owner and operator of Super Bee Rescue and Removal, came highly recommended for his passion and professionalism. Turns out, he also puts on a bit of a show.

As he lit his smoke can and set up a CAUTION sign, Wigle told me he’d just wrapped up a few tough removals of unusually aggressive?--??“spicy”?--??colonies that necessitated a boom lift and a vacuum. He was looking forward to a mellower job where he could leave off his protective suit and simply “be with the bees.” Crouched down with head and hands exposed, he gingerly propped open the vault lid. A volleyball-size hive shimmering with wings clung to its underside."

Tyler Hayden reports for the Santa Barbara Independent July 27, 2017.

Source: Santa Barbara Independent, 07/28/2017