Saturday, 6 August 2011

On guard

It was Tuesday (or it might have been Wednesday) before we took the emptied frames back down to the bees.   It needs to be done in the evening, ideally when bees and wasps are all tucked up in their respective beds, otherwise it encourages robbing.

We suited up, didn't bother with a smoker as we were literally taking off the roof and crown board, putting the eke on, putting the crownboard and roof back. A 2 minute job.

Hive 2 was fine.  The bees found the frames before we'd got the roof back on.

Hive 1, not so much.  In fact, the bees were the worst tempered they have ever been.   They started before we even got to the hive, so I had to go and get the smoker. Fortunately we've been using tightly rolled corrugated cardboard and specialist lighter pellets, so it got going immediately.

Once we'd finished, the bees were still unhappy.  We moved away, staying out of the chicken area.  The bees wouldn't leave us alone.  We moved in with the chickens, which we don't really like doing when accompanied by angry little ladies.   They were still a-pinging and a-stinging.   

We moved further away. We moved apart from each other.  We waited.  

It was a lovely evening and, rather inconsiderately,  the neighbouring allotment holders were on their plots chatting.  We couldn't risk going out of our compound whilst escorted by angry bees, in case the bees decided to get angry with the neighbours as well.

Time passed.  

I was down to two bees and they flew off.  I dived out of the compound with the bee stuff and took it back to the car.   I came back, picked up the box we'd transported the frames in,  and my escorts were back.  We waited.

Time passed.

My guards left me alone briefly. I ran for the compound door taking the box with me.  By the time I was outside they'd caught me.  I went back in.

Several months later,  I was able to escape my captors and I got back to the car.  I waited for my poor DH.  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I had  a little snooze.  I thought about going back to keeep him company, but thought better of it. 

Eventually, he appeared, bee-less.

We decided to leave taking the Ekes off again until our next inspection.

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