Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Scariest Plan on Earth

There are running updates, garden updates and bee updates, but since only one of them has the potential to bring about a second rapture, I will go with that one first.

Then, later, maybe I post about the rest.

So, about that rapture.

Remember The Rapture? Not the one with the old dude who said the world was going to end and only special people were going to be sucked off the face of the planet and leave the rest of us heathens to bask in our respective filth and sin and then WHOOPSY it didn't happen, but the one where I unleashed a hailstorm of stinging insects in my backyard and nearly had to go at the place with a match to fix it.

You remember.

Well, because that was clearly soooo much fun and I felt soooo good about my capabilities as a beekeeper and maker of decisions, I'm doing it again.

I'm installing another package of bees and another queen in my hive.

And not just because you want to see another video of me doing the stupidest thing on earth.


So, to pick up where I left off with the bee situation, that nuc frame of babies that Awesome Steve (he's been upgraded from The Best to Awesome. I'm sure you agree that this is warranted.) gave me did not produce a queen.

Whether my bees took one look at all those babies and were like, "Oh good! The party's here!" and reared all those babies for a buzzing kegger (with mead instead of beer, obviously) or they just figured that the cavalry had arrived and they were free to move on to greener pastures, I don't know.

What I do know is that they did NOT make a queen.

Which is a bummer.

Also, I now have a laying worker, which is a pathetic and useless situation which requires a laying queen to fix and since these ladies are all well past the point of accepting a new queen into their midst, this new queen needs some subservients to do her bidding so she doesn't get rolled by the incumbents.

See those little rice looking things. Those are eggs. They are supposed to be floating happily in the center of the cell. Notice that they are not. That is the work of a laying worker bee.

So, now instead of having a One Bee Problem, I have a One MILLION Bee Problem.

Wow, what's that saying about being "bound to repeat" things...Yeah. Hi! That's me! The Not Learning From Mistakes Girl!


So, in lieu of having a normal and uneventful spring wherein I enjoy the planting of my garden and the satisfaction of seeing my beehive successfully overwinter and go to work, I will be doing the scariest thing I've ever done.

Scariest Plan on Earth:
Step 1 - Place entire hive of bees (which is BTW very heavy with honey and pollen) on my wheel barrow and haul it to the front of the yard.
Step 2 - Remove each frame from both hive bodies and SHAKE ALL THE BEES OFF OF THEM ONTO THE GROUND.
Step 3 - Return all frames to the hive bodies and wheel barrow the hive back to the back of the property.
Step 4 - Install a new package of bees and their queen in the hive.
Step 5 - Hope to hell that I don't bring about Rapture #2 in my yard.

So, you tell me, does that or does that not sound like the scariest thing to do on a Friday afternoon? Or any time for that matter?

Yeah. Thought so.

Given the WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT-ness of the situation, I felt compelled to find the up side. Because otherwise I was going to run stark raving mad into traffic wearing only my bee veil and a glossy sheen of freshly extracted honey.

So...up sides:
  1. I will have the opportunity to install the screened bottom board on the hive so I can easily check for mites.
  2. I will NOT be installing the hive front feeder like I did last year which called in feral bees from five counties and, thus, caused the rapturing.
  3. I will NOT lose the queen from her tiny cage due to improper handling with gloved hands.
  4. The new colony will have a super duper head start since the hive isn't brand new anymore and therefore doesn't need to have comb drawn out, nectar collected and turned to honey or pollen collected and turned to food.
That's a good brood pattern - if only there were brood in the center instead of NOTHINGNESS.

I had to have Bubba walk me through these up sides so that I wouldn't focus so much on the I REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN-ness that was starting to suffocate me, but I think I've come to peace with it.

As much as one can come to peace with the concept of abruptly evicting many tens of thousands of stinging insects from their hard-fought food source and then turning around and inviting many thousands of other stinging insects to move into it.

It all seems rather rude.

But that's exactly what I'm doing.

On Friday afternoon. Right before I'm supposed to leave for the weekend. Which may or may not happen because we all remember what happened the day after I installed my hive last year.

Which - what if I was off gallivanting in the mountains when that happened?

I'm thinking that my Shitty Neighbors would have turned Shitty Animal Control Callers.

Or something equally not good.

So, yeah, stay tuned as I perform the Scariest Plan on Earth. I'm sure it will make for a good story if nothing else.


  1. I'm pretty sure you lost your sanity when you decided you wanted to be a beekeeper.

    But, I don't like bees. I don't like being stung by bees. I don't like being around bees. And I don't really care for honey. Therefore, I think anyone that decides that raising bees and hoarding honey is a good idea...well, they're nuts.

    So.....I think you're nuts. Just sayin'.

    Then again, some people exhibit their crazy in odd ways and I'm going to assume this is your odd way of exhibiting your crazy.

  2. Actually, I *do* want another video of you doing the stupidest thing on earth! Why do you think we keep coming back?!!

    The swears are just "icing on the cake!"

    Hey: If this plan doesn't pan-out, I know where you can catch-yourself another hive. Like, for FREE! (I'll even video-tape it if you like!)

    LOL ;-)

  3. How is Bubba? Is he rocking back and forth in the closet clutching his Epi pens? Because that's what I would do.

    And you better record this because I only see epic entertainment value no matter what happens.

  4. Rock it! Sounds like a good time for eviction; laying workers are a pain in the ass, and have ruined more than one visit to the bee hives for me. So far it's always happened late in the season for us, so we've just said bye-bye, and let them die off slowly and futilely, with an over abundance of drones. Good riddance.
    Our uptight neighbors (the ones who spend a disturbing amount of time washing their various vehicles), have decided to be offended by the presence of bee poop on the first few days of spring-like weather. Admittedly, 5 hives can make A LOT of poop on those first few cleansing flights, and the stuff does sort of resist removal from windshields and car hoods, but really people, it's a pick up truck, not your finest linen (thank heavens they don't hang their laundry out)!



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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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