Wednesday, June 9, 2010

swarm season is upon us! part 2

So I took the bees home in this cardboard box, because of course we weren't prepared for actually hiving them the same night, no way. (Perhaps had we known in advance this was going to be a possibility so quickly we could have been, but this all happened SO fast!)

I was thinking okay, they're sealed in there with duct tape, and it's just a cardboard box. It will likely get cold tonight because its going to rain...maybe I ought to keep them inside for the night. But where? I mean, it's a box full of bees. Where is safe for them and for people AND is inside? Parkade? NO way, too many exhaust fumes from the cars, they could suffocate down there. Basement? My basement? Hmmm. Not the part where the washer and dryer - it's unfinished, and what if they DID somehow get out of the box? I'd have bees everywhere, and in my rafters.

Hubby's room, however, is small, enclosed, and has a door. Perfect! So I placed the box in there on the floor and turned off the light. I told Hubby when he got home and he freaked - just a little bit. He immediately went into my sewing room and got a big piece of mesh fabric - the kind one uses for veils. He wrapped it around the box "just in case". I thought he was being paranoid and laughed a bit, but accepted it.

Turns out having a paranoid spouse isn't such a bad thing sometimes. Those girls were raring to find food for their new home, and as soon as morning hit, they were making every effort to get out of the box - and succeeding. Duct tape on cardboard isn't as strong as you might think, apparently. But because there was mesh fabric all over, they were just crawling around on the outside of the box, trapped inside the mesh net. Whew!

I called Tricia again and asked her to help me hive them - I would need an extra pair of hands, especially since it was raining and I had Kiernen with me. She had her granddaughter, too - they could maybe keep each other entertained in the car while we did the work.

(Interesting aside - when I cleaned up the frames from the dead hive that already had comb, I noticed that in addition to the dead bees in the comb, there was also brood - so even though the queen was trapped, those girls had started laying brood to rear a new hive, and were very likely going to make themselves a new queen, as well. Go, little bees! That was so cool to see. However, they had ZERO honey anywhere, and thus, died.)

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