Saturday, October 4, 2008

To Bee or Not To Bee


When we bought the new place, we inherited a bee hive. Actually, we inherited quite a few, but most were paper wasps and yellow jackets that have since been evicted. This one, however was a honey bee hive, and I wasn't at all sure what to do with it. I didn't want to harm the little beasties, but I didn't want them stinging us, either.

So off I went to the library, where I checked out Beekeeping for Dummies. Fascinating creatures, bees, but they're not exactly low maintenance. And a lot of that maintenance involves opening the hive and poking around in there. I didn't have to read very far before deciding this wasn't going to be a whole hunk o' fun. So now what?

The librarian suggested the Humane Society, and they suggested Critter Gitter, and the guy who gits critters suggested his next door neighbor, who just happens to be a beekeeper. Score!

Bee Guy called within hours, ecstatic at the prospect of relieving me of my bees. He was in his truck before we were even off the phone. Anticipating an exciting afternoon, I rounded up the guys and we set off to meet him at the house.

As luck would have it, it was rainy and cold, so all of the bees were hunkered down in the hive. Bee Guy arrived with a dolly and a smoker, and we retreated to what seemed like a safe distance, prepared to witness The Battle of the Bees.

It never happened. Bee Guy simply waded into the tall grass we'd been afraid to mow, picked up the box, and carted it off to his truck. We couldn't believe it. The hive didn't even notice, much less object, that some dude was making off with their whole nest. The entire event took all of five minutes.

The only bees we saw were the few visible when he opened the top to show us the inside of the box. He offered to open the next layer, where there would be a lot more, but he allowed as how that could get "a bit stingy." We opted to avoid the stinginess.

So Bee Guy got a new hive, which he will rent to farmers for pollination. The bees got somebody to take care of them. And we got the bees removed for free plus a big jar of honey as a thank-you gift. Don't you love it when things work out?

7 comments:

Rambling Woods said...

That is very cool especially as there is a huge decline in bees. I actually know someone who used to keep bees....

Kiva said...

I'm so glad you didn't kill the bees. My granddad used to have bees to pollinate his farm and he was always delighted when someone called to ask him to get their hive. Usually it was out in a tree instead of nicely boxed like yours, but there is nothing like orange blossom honey.

Baker Watson said...

Vicki,

Thanks for the visit and the kind comments. I look forward to hearing of your explorations and discoveries in your new locale. And I look forward to your future visits to our little pond.

I see Michelle is a already a regular visitor here. We 'pond people' have to keep together, lol. I'll see about sending another your way if I can.

Baker

spookydragonfly said...

Hi..I stopped by to visit your blog at the suggestion of my blogger friend, Baker-from Fish and Frog-Turtle. I'm glad I did...I enjoy your blog and I'll be back for a longer visit! I have two blogs going now...my main blog...Wishnik Woods, is more of my journal...photos and insights of what I feel in my "calm" back in the woods. The other focuses on my damsels and dragons around the pond. Again, I'll be back to see how things are going!

MyMaracas said...

Rambling, you're right about the decline in bees. It's alarming, and now I hear that bats are dying off, too.

Kiva, I would love to see somebody get a hive out of a tree. From a long way off, of course. That orange blossom honey sounds divine.

Baker, thanks so much for stopping by! I can't think of better company to keep that pond people, though I am new to the tribe. Thanks for sending Spooky over for a visit, too!

And Spookydragonfly, welcome! I'm so happy to meet you. I'll be stopping by at your blogs too, and I hope to see you here often.

fivegreenacres said...

Ooh - how exciting! We were hoping to start a few hives this next spring, but that might not happen with a new baby expected around the same time. But every time I buy more honey or see beeswax candles, I think....maybe. :)
I don't blame you for bailing, though. Seems like a steep learning curve, with stinging at every wrong turn.

Kathy said...

I do love it when things work out! I am hoping to design and plant a special honey bee garden next spring ... but no hive keeping. Just a garden where they can gather their pollen and nectar and do their work as nature intended.