Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eat . Sleep . Bees .

Eat. Sleep. Bees.

True enough but I couldn’t sleep.

I was obsessing about the one that got away. That swarm from my own hive. Bad enough that I hadn’t caught them, but they were still there as the skies darkened and it grew cold and rain pelted down. The thunder rolled and I thought of them being cold and hungry. I knew what I wanted:  To try again.

It rained all day.  At the end of the day it finally stopped raining.  I headed for the yard

They were still there, hanging much lower and less bees were clumped on the different branches and limbs. This looked like it was possible. I got the extension ladder out and set it up, this time going straighter and right up to within inches of the swarm.

I had a big pail on one arm and a shopping bag on the other. Inside it were my tree trimmers and bee brush.

My socks were over my pants and I had gloves on too. I trimmed the small branches to get closer. Then looping my arm around a thick branch to brace myself I held the pail under the swarm while I took the brush to the clump.
The pail got heavier and heavier but I was successful. Clump after clump I brushed off. Many fell on my hand and stung but I was determined

The air filled with bees. I climbed down carefully and poured the pail into a waiting hive. I watched as bees on the stoop walked inside the hive. That was a good sign. I hoped I got the queen.

Twice more I went up the ladder with the pail and brush and brought down more bees.

I had a sheet on the ground too and shook those bees into the hive as well (if you use a sheet, don’t use cloth as the bees sting it. I think plastic would work better.)

My gloves were so full of stingers that they looked bedazzled. Thank goodness most of the stingers didn’t reach my flesh. I put on sugar syrup and then packed up.

An hour later I saw them coming out of the hive and bearding all over the front. It was not a hot day so this was not a good sign.

It was growing dark and I needed to call it a day. I had done all I could. I got them.

Now it was up to them whether they would stay.
I went home and put my hands in a bucket of ice to reduce the swelling.

The next morning there was significant bee activity outside the hive, but on observation it looked like bees robbing the feeder inside.

I cracked the hive open to have a look …

It was empty.

The scoundrels had absconded. And no, they weren’t back up in that tree again.
Post a Comment