in which 10,000 bees find a temporary home

The hive body is lost in the mail. Gary, who fabulously offered to make it for me, is sending another. So there I was, with 10,000 bees under my bathhouse and NO HIVE to put them in. Here are the bees in their package:

package of bees

Okay! Time for improvisation!

I hived them for now, until the new hive comes, in a plastic tub with eight topbars balanced along the top, with a piece of tin to cover, and some rocks to hold the tin down. The package went right in the tub, along with a baggie of 1:1 sugar water. Here is what it looked like when I got done:


In a moment of cocky insanity, I thought I would be fine without gloves. “None of the experienced bee keepers use gloves. If they can do it, so can I.” Idiot. I mean, the first time a bee landed on my hand, the adrenal rush was so powerful that, for a moment, I went blind. I didn’t get stung, but I was shaking, holding in the intense desire to bat the bees away.

Meanwhile, my four year old daughter is taking pictures and saying things like “Hey, Mom, there is a bee sitting right on my veil! I can see it’s stripes!”

Here she is in her bee get up.

sophie in veil

She is completely fearless.

I, on the other hand, nearly shat myself when, after pulling out the queen cage, the bees BOILED up out of the hole before I could put anything on it to keep them in. I’m trying to move slow and steady, so as not to upset the bees, but I’m exploding with this limbic desire to RUN THE FUCK AWAY!

Here is all of that, hidden discreetly behind my bee burka.


Right in the middle of all of it, the queen cage in my hand, bees flying all around my head, I have this thought, “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”

But, I did it, it was okay. Whew.

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