Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bee My, Bee my, Bee my Little BaBee!!

Continued from Page One!

SO! The Beekeeper came, and brought a wee Bee House. I grabbed my camera and shot a bunch of pictures which--as soon a I get them developed!-- I will edit to post later. We stood there, watching this swarm, and he told me it was "just a little one". To which I replied, "AH! But that is SO subjective! I, as an allergy-ridden fool, believe this is a HUGE! collection of bees!" Since this is only the second time I have seen a bivouac, that is true. EVEN THO! The first one was pre-internet, pre-camera, and in the late sixties. That swarm must have included a queen, since it was well over 2' long, and 18" to 20" inches wide. My Daddy freaked out! and sprayed them with the hose to get them going away. I wish he hadn't, tho... I remember wishing that we could just watch them..... "Just a wee swarm" of perhaps 2,000 bees. A "normal" swarm is 20,000 !! bees! wowzer!

I fixed up a dish of sugar water, and he told me they won't touch anything less than 21% sugar, so I added more sugar...

He put on his bee hat, and some nitrile rubber gloves, and pulled out a shelf from the bee house. Then he gently shooed the cluster of bees onto the shelf. They ooozed onto it, rather like very cold honey pouring out, slowly, sweetly, and when that shelf was filled, he tucked it back lovingly into the bee house. He repeated this action five times. He looked for the queen, but was unable to find her.. but he hadn't caught all of the bees, either...

Then he tucked the be house into the branches of the Grand Fir.. (as gentle as he was with the bees, he was rough and untender with the branches of the wee fir, and left two scrapes along 2 branches... one branch is curled backwards, but I think it will spring back fine)

He told me they will either go into the house, or they won't. They are either a secondary swarm without a queen, or he just didn't find her. They will either find a hollow tree here, and bee happy, or they will go into the bee house, and go home with him.

About an hour after he left, I went out to check on them, and all the bees had left the bee house! They were now tucked between the bee house and the trunk of the fir tree. They seemed quite happy and protected there. I noticed that some were investigating the bee house, but the majority were now re-huddled in their wee mass.

This morning, when I staggered out, bleary-eyed to check on "my" bees, they were still escounced between the bee house and the trunk of the tree. No wee bees were drowning in the sugar water, so hopefully, those that needed a wee sip, got one handy. Just in case they got thirsty, and maybe they are tired from all that flying and stuff.. and maybe the pond is too far away, or something.. I didn't want them to be hungry.....


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