August 5, 2008

Crazy Household Adventures

Why is it, the craziest things happen when my husband is out of town? Thankfully he is home now, but yesterday was yet another wacky day in the RhondaMum household.

My neighbor called to tell me that the bees were back. We had a dead tree (yes, that same wonderful tree that decided to hug my husband's car with one of it's branches) that was home to a group of honey bees last summer. Luckily, they kept to themselves and we all kept to ourselves.

It seemed that several were flying about the bottom section of the tree yesterday morning as well as a tree that is in my yard. It is my favorite, my Cherry Willow tree.

And as I looked at the bees swarming near my tree, I noticed a brown spot on an upper branch.

Above there on the left, some dead leaves perhaps???

I yelped, "Oh my gosh! There is a swarm of bees in my tree!"

They seemed to be flying around more, were all over my car, and then my neighbor noticed they were crawling all over my driveway. And I was standing there, like an IDIOT, in my BARE feet. God was watching over me because I somehow managed to not step on any. They were within inches ALL AROUND my bare feet!

So here is my mass of bees. Look at all of those bees. And being the gal that I am, I ran in for my camera to take loads of pictures and several close ups so that I could figure out what type of bees they were and what I should do. Sure enough, they were honey bees.

I kept my girls inside, which for them wasn't a big deal because they both seemed to be feeling under the weather (I think bad allergies) and I kept my animals in as well.

These bees were actually very nice. After talking to a bee keeper's daughter, that was actually one of my first grade students when my oldest was born, I learned a lot about these beautiful creatures. And I also knew that if I moved about slowly, I would be okay.

This is a picture I took later in the afternoon when it was hot and they seemed to be having "sleep" time. They weren't really moving around and I stepped under my tree to get this shot. If you click on it you can see just how many bees there are.

My dad found some bee keeper numbers and found this one who said he would be happy to take the bees for no charge, as long as he could reach them. I learned a lot from this couple (husband and wife) and the girls did as well once we knew we were safe. And of course, being me and also being a former teacher, I had to document the entire situation. I actually stood just a few feet away during the entire event.

The bee keeper actually stood on his ladder, and simply cut the branch out of the tree.

Once he was down, he simply whacked the stick into the bee container. Since the queen made it in, the rest followed. It took a little time, but they all pretty much made their way to the box.

I thought there were maybe around 1000 bees. He told me that they go by the weight of the group, which he felt was about 1 1/2 pounds. I asked, "So about how many bees is that?"

"Oh, about 7000."


I know I am a big goof, because I actually think these bees are precious and so beautiful. They were all furry and had big eyes. I probably wouldn't think that if they stung me, but they just seemed really neat. I can see why people get into this hobby.

Once the bees were all in, they just taped up the box and loaded it onto the back of their truck.

Say "Bye, Bye Bees". Girls in unison, "Bye, Bye Bees. I will miss you!" We even got to put our ear up to the box and listen to them all buzzing, "Good Bye".

And here is the Queen Bee that my oldest drew on our front porch. As crazy as it all was, it was a nice event for our day. A little educational, and a good distraction from the crazy things in my life right now.

God does work in mysterious ways! Hope you enjoyed our adventure!



ArtDecAaDencE said...

...ooooh you lucky girl! exciting for you all...and you handled it all so well sans husband! thinks this is also a good sign that all is going to be well in your Christine

ricracsally said...

No you're NOT goofy for liking the bees. Bees are GREAT! And they're incredibly important to our ecosystem. I'm really happy to know someone who is smart and calm enough to call beekeepers rather than doing what many people would do--destroy them. A blog I read, Birdchick Blog, is by a woman birder who also keeps bees. Here's a sample of one of her bee entries:
I've learned a lot about beekeeping by reading her entries!

Popsicles & Lollipops said...

WOW!! 7,000 bees!! A real live beekeeper. What excitement!! Imagine all the honey!! I think I'll be content living vicariously through your experience though. :-)
Glad no one got stung!

Sherry said...

Wheeoooeee...that's a real experience Rhonda!! I'm not crazy about bees, I'm fine with them one at a time, but not sure how I'd feel about a swarm. I think this was an excellent opportunity for your children to learn something new and different...7,000 bees...oh my gosh!!!

Kathy said...

Wow, you are some photographer! I am so impressed. I had this happen when we first moved here (La.)a swarm covered my window outside our bedroom, I had a puppy at the time and came home from work to let him out, saw that and freaked!!! It was huge, I had to go back to work, of course hubby was offshore, but when I got home, they were gone. Just up and left. It was very interesting and I was told later, I should have called a bee keeper.
Your girls are just a sweet as mama!

Abbie said...

Oh neat! My inlaws had a hive swarm settle in one of their trees a few years back and called someone to come and get them. they did pretty much the same thing. It is amazing isn't it? Have you read 'The Secret Life of Bees'? A must read for you now!!

miss magpie-pixie said...

I think i would have freaked out at so many bees myself !!
I`m so glad you did a good thing and saved them - they weren`t doing any real harm - it was just where they wanted to live !
A cute picture that your daughter did too !


Jules said...

see we are kindred spirits,when my children were small we lived in a housing estate and twice bees chose our yard to swarm and make a nest,once only the only stragg;y tree we had and another time in the walls of our house gaining entry through a bay window planter box.I thought it was totally amazing and special too.Loving the eiffel tower curser lol