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July 10, 1998

July 10, 1998

So many people have been asking how my bees are doing. Well, they’re jammin’ in a big way. I think when I left off here, we had 4 hives. We still have 4, but there has been major bee action around here since then.

Let me backtrack a bit… You know that Simon and Dave are “The Bee Men”. The second swarm that Simon brought over will be called Hive # 2. They are jammin’ and doing great. The swarm in the cardboard box took a long time to get a hive for, like 2 weeks, so they started to colonize inside the box.

Right before Dave came over with the hive body (empty box), I went to the backyard and saw that familiar black cloud forming again. Well there they go, Hive #1 was swarming again.

Now, Maxine is our neighbor. Very nice people but she wasn’t too crazy about honey bees in their backyard. Surprise. My hives were right up against the wall that separates our properties, and the bees went right over to Maxine’s backyard and swarmed on her roof. This was Sunday April 5th or something. I didn’t know it at the time but she and her husband were freaking out in a big way. They didn’t know they were my bees and I had to go over and get them somehow. So I was all suited up and I went over to her house to try to tell her that I’m the reason why her property was festooned with stinging creatures.

Something wasn’t quite right. The swarm seemed odd. When I got there she got a big kick out of my suit and I told her I have bees. “Oh you have them too? Look at this place, there’s bees all over! I hate bees. I made my husband come out here and spray them”. I said, “No… I have bees. Like, 3 hives.”

She looked at me and said… “On purpose???”.

She just couldn’t get over this. Her backyard was covered with dead bees. I had never seen such a massacre. My heart was breaking. All my little ladies choking to death on RAID!. I tried to explain myself but no way.

They actually took it pretty well and I sent someone over to sweep up all the dead ones, about 12 thousand of them. I told her I would move the hive to the other side of the property but if she sees a bee in her backyard that it’s not necessarily mine. She said she knows what my bees look like. Oh well.

What was funny was that when I returned home and looked in my trees, there were 2 swarms both with queens. I don’t know where they all came from. The next day Dave came over with a brood chamber and he & I transferred the bees into the hive and within a day they all went in. We took a frame from Hive # 2 to help the bees get started.

So at this point we have 4 hives now.

When Dave came back the next day to get the 2nd swarm from the tree, they were gone. The way we merged one of the weaker hives with another swarm was by placing a “honey super” on the top of the main body of the hive and separating them with newspaper. By the time the bees ate through the newspaper, they would be accustomed to each other and throw a party.

I have so much more to tell you but I have to run right now. Keep in touch for all the bee details.

 



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