April 24, 2012

But this one was far more interesting. I had just finished emailing Jim from Natures Nectar about the divide I was about to do, it was the perfect day for it; sunny and warm. Our bees were in a great mood. I was standing in front of the hive that we knew needed to be divided the most. The pink hive is our oldest but the yellow newer hive had a prolific egg laying queen. At the end of winter it looked as if the hivehadn't lost a single bee, it was insane. Just as hubby and I were standing in front of the hive discussing our plan of attack (we are new to this dividing business), the hive decided to swarm. Um... there they go not following the manual again. Minnesota bees aren't suppose to swarm until late June, early July but apparently these girls didn't get the memo. We watched as they moved around the yard, up into a tree, and then settled on our fence.

Needless to say I was in full panic mode (readers: you do sort of see me as the high anxiety type already don't ya?! - cuz I am). I hate having to tell my neighbors that they can't let their dogs out to potty because my bees are on the move again. I feel like I'm being rude... I am rude. Sorry, but your annoying neighbor purchased a bunch of bees and because they like to swarm all the time you need to keep your dogs stuck inside until the bees move on and who cares if you pooch piddles on the carpet. It's rude, it really is.

When I told the neighbor how I was feeling about the swarm she told me to calm down and stop worrying. Apparently she and her husband think the bees are interesting and a worthy cause. That's a relief! Sadly though, we are getting rid of one hive. There have been waaaaaaay too many bees in the yard. Aside from the swarms making me nervous when it comes to neighbor relations the bees have gotten a bit territorial. The girls in the family (ours, not the queens) have to tie their hair into a bun and wrap a scarf around their heads to keep the bees from getting caught while outside playing (we have that many bees flying around the yard). We are keeping our pink hive though because I've grown attached to that one :)

Onto the swarm.

I called about 5 beekeepers to come and get the swarm and the lucky winner was the man who said he'd be at my house in less than an hour. He came, gathered up our little bunch that attached themselves to the fence and he left.

Funny how smart bees are. Once he boxed up the bees and put them in the van he came over to talk to me, which was 30 feet from where the bees were and the buzzy girls still managed to find him and bop him in the head. I was standing in front of him, no further than 2 feet away, and they didn't mind me at all. They wanted to get the guy who stole their sisters and mother. Smart little suckers.
Jim Davis said...

Well, Michelle, you've convinced me I need to get out and do a split with one of my hives. The queen has been on a laying frenzy since sometime in early March, and there are tons of bees. Hopefully the temps will hold tomorrow and the rain holds off. Did the bees just bump the fellow on the forehead or sting him? That's funny they knew who to go for!

Michelle said...

Hi Jim

They just kept bouncing off his face. He tried to have a conversation with me through all of the buzzing and bumping but he started to get nervous when more and more kept coming. I have to admit, I was laughing on the inside :D

Definitely a good time to split. I couldn't believe they swarmed this early. Back in March when I contacted Natures Nectar I was worried about how fast they were building up but thought the end of April seemed reasonable for a divide. I suppose I should be prepared for multiple swarms this year.

Alina Klein said...

Wow, Michelle! I love that your bees are so healthy and prolific! And what precocious and eager girls to get their swarm on so early. :D

dixiebelle said...

Oh, I never thought about having too many bees in our backyard, when we finally get bees this Spring! I can see how that might be a problem!

SoapSudsations said...

Holy cow, that would be a frightening experience for anyone who isn't used to bees. I'm glad you have at least one neighbour on your side.

What a funny story, good thing he's used to that sort of thing at least. Hopefully your bees have relatively short memories and will go back to being well behaved.

Mil said...

Wow, cool story. I can't believe the bees swarmed right at that moment. I'm sorry to hear you had to get rid of one hive. That must've been hard.
Glad your neighbor was cool about all the bees, though. I think of you as doing a service--educating one neighbor at a time about bees!

Teresa Robeson said...

You were totally cracking me up with "they never read the manual"! ;D

Ooooh, I'll bet Alina wishes she lived close enough to get your swarm. Heck, I wish I do too, though I'm not quite ready for one.

Glad it all worked out and that your neighbors are sympathetic!