Posted on June 21, 2013
Miller Farm Friday – Don’t Wake the Bees
A blog by Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara
We have run out of honey on Miller Farm and our customers are clamoring for more. So Beekeeper Brian checked on the hive furthest from our house and found it to have a super full of honey, which translates to about 50 pounds.
This was fantastic news. He prepared for honey extraction with great anticipation. Unfortunately, upon opening the hive he discovered a small infestation of hive beetles. This is not a catastrophic event but needs to be addressed.
Picture source: Naturesnectar
Bees are very clean critters and so placing the supers back on a strong hive would allow the bees to clean up the honeycomb. Beekeeper Brian thought putting the supers next to the strong hive would be sufficient.
However, later that night, Beekeeper Brian decided he could not sleep thinking about those supers being on the ground where other critters, i.e. possums, could get into them. Because he’d recently read that bees do not fly in the dark, he decided to go out and move the supers onto the hive.
What he forgot is that all the bees go into the hive at night to sleep after a busy day of gathering nectar and pollen.
When he opened the hive to add the supers, the bees woke up, too, and they were very grumpy. He quickly put the supers in place and headed back to the house.
Unfortunately, some of the bees hitched a ride on his bee suit.
Fortunately, as he was standing in the garage surrounded by bees, he remembered the Bee Gone solution he had recently purchased. He sprayed himself in an attempt to remove the bees, accidentally spraying his face and eyes in the process.
Not a good idea!
He ran into the house hollering for me, but I was in the bedroom asleep. Rachel, however, ran to the kitchen to see what was wrong. She was afraid he had bees stuck in his hair (which is her worst nightmare).
By the time I arrived, Beekeeper Brian was in the shower, and Rachel was searching for renegade bees in the kitchen.
When I realized what had happened, I headed to the bathroom to see if I needed to get the Epipen. (Beekeeper Brian can only handle a certain number of bee stings before he has a serious reaction.)
I wasn’t sure what that number was or how close he was to it. He explained that his screams were the result of stinging in his eyes from the BeeGone solution, not bee stings.
I rejoined Rachel in the kitchen to dispatch any remaining bees. Between us we killed three and decided to leave the bee suit where it was, hoping any bees trapped in it would die by morning.
Once Brian had rinsed the Bee Gone out of his eyes, and assessed the bee stings (only three, which is an annoying, but not a serious number) he removed the bee suit and any remaining bees.
Brian and Rachel had a hard time calming down after that.
Me – I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow – it was just another night on Miller Farm.
Moral of the story: Let sleeping bees lie.