The new Queen Olga came today. And she needed to get installed in her new hive, in her Queen Carrier, so the old Bees could get her scent and eat out the sugar and welcome her into her new home. So began a rather harrowing three hours.
We didn't know if the old Queen was dead, or gone or simply stopped laying eggs. If she was still alive, we would have to find her, and kill her.
At the beginning of this process, we were very sad about this. Not at all sure we could do it. By the end of the day tho, I was saying things like "If I find her, I will crush that no good non egg laying skanky Queen in my bare hands."
Sharon will do the full report over at her Blog
, so you can get the details there. First, we had to go to the Mimko hive, which was doing very well, and take a frame of Brood, to give the Olga hive some new baby bees, until the new Queen could hatch her own.
Mimko hated this, as the hive thought, quite correctly, that we were stealing their brood, and they moved into Protect mode. For the first time since the first panicked day, I did not enjoy the Bee thing.
Little did we know...(Cue Music..)
At the Olga Hive, we had to take it apart and go thru 30 frames, all covered in bees on both sides. (it is worth noting that Eddi Izzard is playing here tonight. We could sure tell HIM something about being Covered in Bees!) and see if we could find the old Queen, with her big Queen Butt.
Olga bees have always been a little aggressive, but let me tell you, they HATED this. Sometimes, a bee or two will Bonk you, which is when they fly into you at full speed, like a tap on the shoulder to let you know "HEY! STUPID! This is like, a BEE HIVE! Beat It!" You smoke them with your mighty smoker and they back off.
Sometimes a bee will sting you on your gloves. This releases something that tells the other bees "Trouble, my Comrades, come sting with me and die protecting the hive"
It is truly a somewhat stressful feeling, I can now tell you, to look down and see yourself covered in bees, all stinging you. And feel the constant Bonking at your head, like hail.
Remember, they can't get IN the bee suit. Nope. No way. This is what will keep you sane. Can't get in. Would NEVER happen.....(more music, scarier now...)
Unless, of course, you discover, looking down at your chest, which is covered in bees, you have forgotten to zip up your bee suit around the neck. (something I promise, you will never do twice.
I said something, calmly I am sure like SHARON MY SUIT IS UNZIPPED!!!!!!!!!! And she answered, just as calmly WALK AWAY WALK AWAY I WILL SMOKE YOU I WILL SMOKE YOU!!!!!!!
Fortunately the bees had not yet discovered this fact, and no one was IN the suit yet. But you can up the stress level a few notches. We began using the phrase,"I need a Bee Moment" which meant one of us was in danger of freaking, and we would walk away, get most of the bees off, and breathe, before going back in.
Mostly, Cabal is smart enough not to get close, and the bees have always left him alone. Until today. He started to get stung, and began snapping at the bees flying around him, and batting at them (he totally flailed) He also had bees stuck in his fur.
I got him bee free and calmer, and told him to stay away. (short version) but he was convinced I was going into danger and he needed to save me by moving in and attacking the bees. (up stress level) I convinced him that he had best stay in the car for the rest of the time. Here he is getting his revenge on the Bee Toy I bought him.
We finally got everything wrapped up, again, refer to Sharon for the full report. We went back to the car, feeling like we had been in a war, leaving our bee suits on, in case the ever aggressive Olga bees were still lingering.
As it turned out one was. IN Sharon's Bee Suit.
She started yelling BEE MOMENT BEE MOMENT and leapt from the moving car. I stopped the car and leapt for her. I pulled the zipper of the suit down, and saw the bee, and tried to grab for it, but Sharon did the fight or flight maneuver, and started running away across the field, I grabbed her suit from the back and pulled it from her, followed by her shirt.
There we were, in the dandelion covered field, full of bees. The stuff of high comedy.
When we got back in the car, darned if, oh yes, there was a bee flying around between us. Cut to screaming, batting, flailing....
Here is my final word on Bees today...
Love and Not so much Bees,