Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Bee Issues

Dave -

The temperatures soared into the upper 90's this afternoon and both of our hives are sitting in direct afternoon sun. Most of the bees in the dark green hive were trying to cool off on the porch.
According to the book Beekeeping for Dummies, this is not a good sign - it is a waste of bee energy for worker bees to flap their wings to cool the hive. Shirley did some research and came to the conclusion that we needed to move the hives to a cooler location. But where?

Since most of our property consists of a hill, there are few areas in our yard that lend themselves to a beehive. Shirley wanted to take the easy route and relocate them next to the fireplace in our side yard. I nix'd this idea. After my bee sting experience on Saturday, I was in no mood to live that close to the damn bees. We settled on a place half way up the hill that receives dappled afternoon sunlight.

In order to make room for the hive, we had to level a 3 foot by 2 foot section for us to stand on to work the hive and another 4 foot by 3 foot section to set the hive on. We prepped the area for one hive and then waited until dusk when all the bees would be inside the hive. We blocked the entrance to the hive with tape, picked up the hive and hive stand, and started to climb the hill. Shirley was wearing tennis shoes with no grip and since she was walking backwards she claimed that she could not see where she was going. She started to slide causing the brood chamber to separate from the bottom board. Angry bees started coming at me - AGAIN. A bee stung my hand and I imagined a repeat of Saturday night. . . whack, whack, whack, whack. Watching me lose my cool, Shirley ordered me to leave. Since she couldn't carry the hive by herself, I headed back into the house to don the bee suit. I fumbled with the zipper that secures the hood for about five minutes before finally figuring things out. Invincible in my suit, hood, and gloves (like Superman and his cape) I rejoined Shirley who was waiting patiently on the hill. In no time at all, we had the hive situated in its new spot.

Shirley got stung on the forehead. Stoic that she is, she did not complain. "It is only a bee sting" . . . "It was only one" . . . "What's the big deal?" You won't hear those words uttered from this guy's mouth.

Wednesday evening we will do this whole thing again with the other hive.

Damn bees.

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