All day I’ve felt like Chuck Connors after they cup his epaulets off in the opening scenes of each episode of ‘Branded’. Not worthy of the title. Well, OK, over the top. But I flunked ‘Beekeeping 101’ today. Twice.
I mentioned earlier that I intended to split my colony of bees into two hives last weekend but the weather was too grumpy. I should have anyway. I took today off for that express purpose, despite a busy day job schedule, because the weather finally looked better and there was a gap in the work stuff. Apparently the bees agreed that the weather was fine. As I was walking to the hive with all the gear, I thought: ‘they’re certainly louder than usual’.
Well, duh. That’s because 20,000 of them are heading to that watermelon-sized cluster eight feet up in the pine tree……
Yeah. A swarm.
So, I flunk basic beekeeping once – preempting the swarm is pretty rudimentary stuff and I blew it. But now I have a chance to really earn my beekeeping merit badge by capturing the swarm in the hive body I had prepared to split the colony. So I scramble around, calling in to some experienced beekeepers for advice and re-reading the ‘capturing the swarm’ section.
Then I hustle back out a full ten minutes later, ready for my trial by fire, to find….an empty branch.
After an hour of searching, no sign of the swarm.
Yeah, I still have a colony of bees in the original hive that may re-queen and survive. But they clearly don’t have a beekeeper. Just some guy who plays at keeping bees.
Posted on April 11th, 2008 by jack-of-all-thumbs
Filed under: Meat, Eggs, etc.