The intro, the situation
It was late-summer, and my wife had gone away with friends for a few days but because I had to work I stayed home and 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:
“PS: Promise me you’ll be careful”
Careful, of course, I’m always careful, (though when I work alone there have been a few banged fingers and strained backs from doing to much)
I had some time before work so I took the dog for a walk back by the ponds in our town, and while back there “snap” I remembered
“ snap… I had put up a honey-bee swarm trap back here somewhere and forgot about it”
So searching around, and walking deeper into the woods, I finally found it.
A honey-bee swarm trap is a light plastic box, oh about this big, that you pull up into a tree facing east with a thin line. 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. The hope is that when a hive gets too big and crowded, usually in the spring, some of the bee’s swarm away with the queen to find a better new home and they might live in the swarm trap for a few days while sending scout bees out looking for the better home. And you hope that you can bring the swarm-trap box home with the bees in it and start a new strong wild bee hive. I’ve read about this online, but have never known anyone to do it.
So I was staring up at the white box way up in the tree, when suddenly, something flew into it!!! Wow exciting, maybe a scout bee is checking out the swarm trap. But nothing flew out, and no other things were flying around it.
So I went home, did some chores, worked till late at night, and when I got home I was to wired to go to sleep, and TV was boring.
I started to think again about the swarm-trap.
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 at 2am I still even remembered to text a nice soothing message to my wife which read,
The 4 lines of text read:
I’m alright now,
So to this day, I don’t understand why my wife shudders and looks concerned when I “promise to be careful”