The Bee Wrangler & JoJo The Honeybear
My name is Mark Sopko and I'm
known as The Bee Wrangler, because one of my jobs as a
beekeeper is to capture honeybee swarms. "How does one
become a Bee Wrangler "You might ask. Well, this is my
I captured my first honeybees when I was 15 years old.
It wasn't a swarm, but an actual hive. While walking through
the woods near my house I noticed a honeybee hive hanging on
a branch of a tree. Honeybees usually tend to build their
hives in more protected areas such as inside a hollow tree,
this way they are able to keep their hive warm and survive
through the winter. That was not the case with this hive.
It was early November and I knew that something had to be
done with this hive or as the
cold weather set in, the bees would all soon die.
I sought the advice of a beekeeper, who suggested that the
hive would have to be cut down and placed in a wooden box .
This would protect them from the elements. Secondly, they
would have to be fed sugar water so they would have enough
food to get them through the winter. Armed with a ladder,
branch cutter, and a cardboard box, my father and I headed
into the woods to capture the hive. Luckily, it was a cool
morning so the bees were not very active yet. We set up the
ladder under the tree. From the top of the ladder I
carefully maneuvered a cardboard box under the hive as dad
cut the branch from the ground, with his long handled
branch cutters. As the hive dropped into the box, I quickly
closed the top. A few minutes later we were heading out of
the woods with our box of bees.
Once we got home, we placed it into a custom built wooden box
with entrance and exit holes and that was their new home. That
was my first bee wrangling experience. I was stung by the "bee fever" that
day and have had it ever since.