Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh the irony of hive check #1

So, I was going to post another video - of me checking the hive to make sure Ms Fancy #2 Queen Bee had been released into the hive and was starting to do her baby having business - but I have to edit the thing and can't find the patience or hour that it would require to accomplish, so instead you get this post with some pictures my neighbor surreptitiously took while I was checking the hive on Sunday.

Have I told you these neighbors are awesome? Because they're awesome. At one point (after the Weekend of the Apocalypse) they even came over through the dutch door in the fence to check out the hive. The same neighbor who declared during the swarm that, "What's the big deal? I'm not allergic to bees. What's to be afraid of?" even strode over in her bare feet, sidled up to the hive and declared, "That's so cool."

And, while I was checking the hive on Sunday, her husband, the other awesome neighbor, stood quiet and unnoticed at the gate and took pictures of me in my ridiculous get up because, apparently, he too thinks it is quite cool.

Laugh at my tucked in pant legs all you want, I really don't want a bee in my butt.

And then he also took pictures of bees on his fava beans which he claims to be certain are My Bees.

Yeah. This chick looks like she's fresh off a bender, doesn't she?

I mean, obviously.


Anyway, that's not at all ironic.

What's ironic is that, after the I Can't Keep A Queen Bee IN It's Cage scenario that unfolded during my first queen installation attempt and the part where I said that she was "installed without error", my second attempt could only be classified as an I Can't Get A Queen Bee OUT Of It's Fucking Cage scenario and that she was not, in fact, "installed without error."

When I opened the hive on Sunday - with the soul purpose of confirming that Ms Thang had been released from her tiny prison by way of her workers eating through the very firmly installed marshmallow at its end - I found that LO she was still in there.

And do you know why she was still in her cage after five day's time?

Because someone not good at installing queen bees (one guess), when attempting to extract the very stuck ("like glue") cork from one end of her cage, pushed in the cork after multiple attempts at trying to pull it out.

And then this same not-good-queen-installer said something exactly like, "Well, sorry girls. You're just going to have to live in there with that cork. That's close quarters.", smushed in a marshmallow, and then left these small not muscle bound insects to fend for their damned selves.

And then the cork fell down into the hole effectively resealing the thing.

Can you believe?

I laughed. I laughed and laughed and shared the story with Bubba who was, again, sitting nearby not afraid of being stung, and laughed some more and then went to get the pliers to finally remove the thing without any real concern about her flying away.

My assumption was that she was Theirs now and, even if she did fly off, she'd fly back because they KNEW her. OR - they'd all join her, fly over my fence and be gone forever.

I'll just spare you the suspense and tell you that neither of these things happened.

Nope. I pulled out the cage, popped the cork once and for all, re-hung it back in the hive and went about my cocktail hour.

In my back pocket you will notice seeds. Seeds which I somehow lost in transit and then spent an hour looking for. I'm a genius.

And once I have the video clipped and loaded, you'll see that I also confirmed that these formerly listless bachelorettes are now working hard drawing out comb and gathering pollen of all colors and that there are more than the five bees left in the hive that I predicted would be in there after The Swarm Of The Century on my fence.

The hive check was ironic, but at least it was basically uneventful and everything that could go right - so basically anything that I didn't influence directly with my awkward lady actions - was going right.

When I get home from my trip next week, I'll open the thing up again and see if Ms Thang has started laying her eggs. And I'll probably take another video that I'll then have to clip and load and what not, which takes a while, so forgive me if you just get another post like this with lots of me typing and a few pictures and only the promise of a video. I really think the video is getting better. If only because this last one has less footage of my chicken legs and more of frames full of bees.

Oh, and hey, I'm going to Hawaii for a few days, so I probably won't post until I'm back. But, if you want to keep up with any shenanigans that I have the sobriety to post to Facebook or Twitter, you just go ahead with that.

Otherwise, we'll meet back here next week when I hope to report that we have many buns in the oven. Where the oven is the beehive. And the buns are small bees.

You get it.


  1. I am pretty sure you deserve a huge Mai Tai. Have a great time!

  2. Is it wrong that I kind of hoped Queen #2 flew off? And that we'd have a series of "third times the charm" posts?

    Because it would have been funny.

  3. You're abandoning the bees for Hawaii?

    Yeah, I would, too.

    Happy travels to the both of you.

  4. Why didn't you take me to Hawaii with you? I've been good.

  5. the swarm would have been enough to completely freak me out. i continue to be amazed by your persistence.

  6. I got your link from a dear friend's mother (said friend also blogs: and laughed my fool ass off. As a MT native but former San Jose resident (Winchester Mystery House, Andy's Pet Shop and Happy Hollow Zoo were some of jobs while attending DeAnza,) I found some inspiration to look into doing something I've always wanted to do: beekeep. We've got 1.5 acres and are adjacent to a winery; seems perfect, right? If you had any links you found super helpful that you had the time to share, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks and keep it up!

  7. Long time block stalker, first time commenter... yes, that's how I introduce myself to friends.
    I like you.
    Thanks for doing the bee thing, it's hilarious!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.