My daughter says, that according to the new Williams Sonoma catalogue, I am an "agrarian." So we have progressed from hippy to earthy to agrarian! " Our agrarian friends, the Hunts, and ourselves, decide to add bees to our list of fun things to do. We build 4 hives of 5 boxes each, and paint them pretty colors. We build 10 trays per box, and set them up on a nice stand by the garden.
|Loading the green hive|
|The Evil Queen herself!|
Next day, Jeff goes to do this chore (oh, but with no bee suit on, since we forgot to buy one), and finds that all the bees have moved into the green hive and are a big boiling mass in there. He doesn't open the green hive! He calls for help. Alicia says she'll come over next evening with her suit and move some bees back into the other hives and take the green queen at least 2 miles away. That queen has obviously got too many pheromones, says Alicia. But late morning, while I am pulling weeds nearby, I hear a jet taking off, and the bees are slowly rising in a column up from the green hive. Up, up, forming a cloud, then a ball, and attaching to a limb above the hive. Alicia comes over right away to look. Yup, they've swarmed! $225. in a ball above our heads. She says they need to get back in their hive right away but she can't climb up to get them. She suggests we use the forklift nearby and lift the hive up right next to the swarm to tempt them back in. We spritz the hive with sugar water to attract them and set it on a pallet and strap it down. This is all very unconventional, says Alicia, who has spent the last 8 hours on Beemasters.com trying to figure out what to do with the mutinous bees. She has a few words to say about the green queen who absconded with our bees! She's worried the bees will move the swarm, and not into the box. We decide to wait for Dave to come home from work and go up into the tree (because he's not afraid of heights and he has a suit!) and scrape them into the box. Meanwhile we are starved and Angela brings us all a burrito. :)
|"She didn't even leave us any eggs!"|
So we all go back to work, checking on the ball of bees now and then to see if they like the green hive yet. Then it happens again. The jet taking off sound - and this time we watch them fly over the treetops!
We are very sad; we want new, faithful bees. But we are going to be all the buzz at the next bee club meeting!
|Alicia shows us what a tray of bees is suppose to look like, with tiny eggs, larvae, hatchlings, nurse bees, drones etc|