Monday, November 21, 2011
A Bee Story and Other Tales
I may have mentioned I am easily distracted. Today was no exception. My day started at 1:00 pm; I'd worked the night shift and took a necessary nap. My hope was to get up while there was still daylight so I could snap some photos for the shop (I have many typewriters and cameras that need a new home).
Around 2:00 pm, after coffee and some puttering, I got around to said photos. Of course, in the middle, I was interrupted by my daughter who wanted me to walk her to a friend's house. While taking the my break I noticed it was quite warm outside (quite warm meaning above freezing i.e. mid forties). It occurred to me this might be my one and only opportunity to open up the bee hive and give the girls their new insulated top/candy board.
As this was a last minute decision and I was still groggy from the night shift I didn't think the whole thing through. I simply threw on my bee suit and my cowboy boots and marched outside to change tops. My plan was to have the project done snippity snap and get back to my photos. What I hadn't factored in was the propolis -- that lovely bee glue that sticks everything together.
Plus I hadn't been into the hive for a while and once the top was open I realized they'd built their lives in the middle of two ten frame boxes (rather than fill the bottom box and then the top). I decided to remove the top box and place the full frames into the bottom box. This way there would be less hive for the bees to keep warm and they'd be closer to the candy source.
Given this I also decided I'd better get my smoker and do things properly. So I ran to the garage grabbing the smoker and fuel. Then I booked it to the kitchen to get a lighter. Now, of course, the lighter was not in the drawer where it belonged. So I went to the cupboard and stood precariously on my tip toes shuffling through the liquor bottles on the top shelf. For some reason this is where we keep our spare matches. Just as I found the matches a bottle of kahlua leapt off the shelf. The cap wasn't screwed on which resulted in complete drenching; alcohol on my suit, in my hair and soaked through my clothes.
As I'd left the top cover off the bees and didn't want them to freeze I ignored this alcoholic transgression and continued on my merry way. I smoked the bees, replaced the frames and tucked the girls in for the winter.
At this point my left ear was ringing and I was feeling moderately stressed. Subsequently I was swaying a touch, as I have been all week, oh Menieres you lovely gal you.
What my neighbors likely saw was a woman in an alien suit, accessorized with cowboy boots, smelling of liquor and swerving as she walked. I'm expecting the men with the nice white jacket to arrive at my doorstep any moment now.
I did have one frame with some capped honey that would not fit into the bee box. I brought it inside and harvested the honey -- wax and all. It's surprisingly sweet with a slight floral hint. The reward for a job well done.
Then I discovered I'd also brought a bee in with me. She was less than pleased and trying desperately to escape out the window. I trapped her in a mason jar and returned her to her brood.
Now I have photos to develop and items to list. I've not yet come up with a plan for dinner. As I type I am freshly showered and no longer smell like alcohol. This may have to be remedied with a margarita and some mexican food. It just seems like that kind of day.