I do have to confess that I have a problem
I do have to confess that I have a problem, I can't read the same book twice, I can't hike the same trail twice, and when I get board, OH When I get board, I have to find something exciting todo , don't you.
It was late-summer, a long hot and wet summer, and my wife had gone away with friends for a few days up at the lakes region so I would be alone for a couple of days. When I got up in the morning I saw a note on the kitchen table that read
“Dear, there is dinner in the fridge, and if you could get a few chores done, that would be great, Love you always”
Auuuuu, .. I like that so much, she loves me,
And at the end of the note There was a PS: ! and it was under lined!
“PS: Promise me that you’ll be careful”
Now I do love and cherish my wife, I use that word cherish often because she is so special. But if I had to be honest she does have one fault, and that is that she worries to much. Careful, of course, I’m always careful!! So tossing that note aside I was off to the rest of my day.
Coming home late that night since there was no one to come home to, it was midnight and I was searching around for some chores or something to do to wire down after all of the coffee at work. Power tools at midnight, probably not a good idea, vacuuming -- not my cup of tea, look out the dark window I thought about the bushes and limbs that needed trimming, out on a limb, when SNAP I remembered that in the early spring, out on a limb, out in the forest early this spring several months ago I had hung up a honey bee swarm trap.
Now Trap is not really a good name for it, A honey-bee swarm trap is a light white waterproof plastic box, about twice as big as a shoe box, that you pull up into a tree facing east across a field with a thin rope. It has screened ventilation on one side a hole on the other for the bees to come in, 5 frames for the wax comb, and a queen pheromone lure. Its natural that in the spring when the hives are growing so fast because of the new flowers that they get too big and crowded, so half of the hive spits off or "swarms" away with the queen to find a better new home. It is the hope that this swarm will use your box as a temporary home for a few days while it sends out scout bees looking for the permanent place to make the new hive their home. You try to bring the swarm-trap box home with the bees in it and start a new strong wild ferrel bee hive. I’ve read about this online, but have never known anyone to do it and always have hoped that I'd be the one with the luck to catch one.
I started to think again about the swarm-trap.
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I had probably better get the swarm trap down, its late in the year so there probably won’t be any more bee swarms and I know where it is and probably will forget again. And the best time to get a swarm trap down, if there were bees, is at night when all the foraging bees are home (I’ve read about this somewhere). And also the best time to get a swarm trap down would be when your wife is away so that she won’t be worrying too much.
So I packed up a whole bunch of bee keeper gear together in a backpack, left a note on the table , drove to the park and headed off into the woods. I tracked my way with a sports tracker and since I’m a careful kind-of-guy I texted the map and coordinates to my wife knowing that she’d be asleep so a random text at midnight from the middle of the woods wouldn’t worry her.
I got out my white bee jacket and bee hat with the screening, put them on and zipped them together. Then put on a head lamp and then the thick leather gloves that go up to your elbows. Noticing how it was really hard to see with the blackness of the forest at night and the screen over my face and the light shining on the face screen. With one gloved hand on the thin line that I could hardly feel, and then I tried to untie the knots that were wet and old from being out side all summer. Finally, I shook off my glove so that I could get a finger nail into the knot, when suddenly a loud sound:
What was that sound, oh my gosh what is that sound, it was not coming from up high in the tree so it was not the bees, My mind went into some kind of brain neural google search trying to match the sound, ?Animal? no not a snake, notfox, not a bear, ?electronic? not a phone, ?mechanical? what….
Then suddenly I saw the line to the bee swarm trap leave my gloved hand, it had been running through the thick glove when the rope broke and just as I looked up and stepped back the swarm trap just missed my head and landed at my feet rolling on its side a thick live puddle HUNDREDS of angry honey bees crawled out across the forest leaves.
But frozen only for a moment I “Begin a careful sort of Guy”, I was prepared, pulling out a big sheet of mosquito netting I threw it over the box and bees and gathered up the entire mess (and my lost glove) and picked it up. It was really heavy, maybe 30 or 40 pounds with dripping honey, nectar, pollen. It was not just bees, it was a whole hive!!!
I started to run through the forest, not being able to see well I was hitting and breaking branches, tripping over logs and rocks, and had to keep adjusting the netting and box because they were stinging my arm through the entire mess.
Finally, back at the parking lot I opened the back of my car, tossed in the entire mess of swarm-trap and netting and leaves and close the door.!! I had caught a wild feral swarm of bees, I was so happy!!
I was just about to do a happy dance when I heard a new sound, a kind-of roaring, peering through the windows in the car there were thousands of bees flying in mass circles inside the car. What was I to do, what was I to do… Well I pulled on my other glove and quickly got in and started to drive home. But I found that I couldn’t drive fast because the bees where so so loud and I had to keep brushing them off the head netting in front of my eyes.
I drove slower and slower, now I was really really worried that a police officer would come by and pull me over for driving so slowly, he’d say “Sir what is the problem” I’d say “sorry I can’t hear you” he’d say, please roll down your window, and I’d say “no I don’t think so” they he’d draw his gun and tell me to get out of the car , and I’d say “ I don’t think you want me to get out of my car”,
But I finally got home, now trying to figure out what to do next, I just went for “do it and say sorry later” so drove through the rose bushes, across the lawn, over part of the vegetable garden and down the hill into the woods. Parked the car and quickly rolled out of the car.
Then I did my happy dance, got the bees all calmed down by spraying the inside the car with a whole lot of sugar water spray, and a smoker through a crack in the door, transferred them into an old empty hive, and they were the best and happiest honey producers for many many years. I love being with the bees, just watching and listening to them its really fun. And being a careful guy at 4am I still even remembered to text a nice soothing message to my wife which read:
“Hi Dear, Don’t Worry, I’m alright,
And I do love her, and have learned to be more attentive to the worries and concerns of my wife. But to this day, I don’t understand why, sometimes, my wife's eyebrow gets a tick and her head tilts and she shudders slightly looking perplexed when I say
“Dear I Promise I'll Bee Careful”
Thank you all, Tom Ostberg