Friday, April 13, 2012

Talk about a clown car...

If anyone had asked me six months ago if I'd ever find myself in a car with several thousand bees, there was very little chance I wouldn't have laughed them right out of the room. Yet today, I drove with ten thousand (give or take) bees for more than an hour in a compact sedan--in the front seat, no less. I picked them up from a place about 70 miles away. I arrived not entirely sure what to expect, half way thinking I might chicken out at the last minute and take off running. There they were, placidly hanging out in a box, waiting for me to take them home. I couldn't let down 10,000 beautiful ladies, so I set aside any lingering fears I had that they'd somehow escape their confinement and teach me how to practice the "stop, drop and roll" technique. They were very courteous passengers, I don't think they asked me to slow down once! You'd be amazed how powerful the incessant buzzing of these ladies on the seat next to you feels. It truly gives a new meaning to feeling "buzzed". (I couldn't resist throwing out at least one pun...)

When I finally arrived home, I had a very brave volunteer come and take pictures of the goings on. Tons of photos were taken, but my gorgeous wife and I selected what we thought were the best ones. I put the assembled frames into the hive body, suited up with my veil and gloves, and gathered up all of the things I thought I'd need to bring to the party. I carried everything down to the hive's new home. The photographer hesitantly came along, even though he had no protection from the wrath of the colony. I had previously watched a few videos showing how to "install" bees (like this one), so I had a general outline of how the whole thing would go.

Everything went according to the plan (roughly). The ladies only got slightly riled up, so it was a pretty cool experience moving (dumping, really) thousands of live bees from a small box into a place they've never seen. Eventually, a few of them discovered that my pants weren't sealed at the bottom, or my hoodie not quite tight enough around the waist, or the place where my hair wasn't completely under the veil (and left a pretty wide open door to my face). I sustained a few stings, but nothing too significant.

There she was, well protected as promised. I brushed off every one of these ladies twice before the left photo, but her guards were adamant about not leaving her side and returned almost immediately. I left her in her chamber after removing the cork blocking her exit. Her servants will do the rest (I hope). I bid them farewell, put the top cover on and went about my day. I'll come back to visit in a couple of days.

Phew, I think I'm over the hump. I think the realization that getting stung only hurts for a second (and supposedly gets less painful over time) really relieved some tension. I can't wait to come see how the decoration is going! Normally I wouldn't be able to resist going tomorrow, but I've got herb class all weekend, so I literally have no time check for a few days. I think that's probably best... I don't want to disturb them too much.

We'll visit the hive in a few days to see how it's going. Come on back now, y'hear?

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