Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bees, Part...Uh, Whatever....

Our mail order bride queen arrived this morning. Mom of all Trades picked up her majesty and entourage from the Post Office. So later this morning founding us excitedly tromping down to the hive anxious to "install" her in place.

TaxiMom pulled off the top of the hive and remarked, as MoaT squatted down for a look-see, "I don't hear any noise." With a flat, "Oh, crap," MoaT carefully moves the frames to peek in between. I join her. We are very quiet.

No buzzing. No movement. Our bees have died. We are crestfallen. We look into the bottom of the hive and see the majority of them in a pile. A couple dozen are attached to the combs, a few are inside the hexagonal shapes.

MoaT and I sit while we talk through possible scenarios: Did they starve? Surely there was enough pollen available for food. Did they freeze to death over the weekend? They had been through colder weather already. Did something else kill them? Perhaps someone sprayed their fruit trees, garden, weeds.

On Friday afternoon they were fine. Now, gone.

MoaT sits and contemplates. I say, "Well, let's go."

"Where," asks MoaT. *TM is awesome in a crisis, part of why I heart her*

"Back to the computer. We'll see if we can't find some bees and order them," I reply.

We fire up the MAC and google. MoaT calls a number in southern Texas. Sold out until May! I remember when we looked for a queen most of the places had sold out of bees for the spring.

Our queen won't make the return trip to Georgia, nor will she survive without a colony to care for her. Her entourage aren't numerous enough to do that.

Our MoaT. She should have been named Gem. She comes up with the idea to post a note of Freecycle for anyone who needs a queen. Off she goes to her own computer to do that.

Our MoaT. She's also sneaky. She leaves the queen with me. That way I can feel guilty if she dies while in my possession. The real reason is because MoaT feels badly for those bees that died. I, on the other hand, do not. If I were pregnant I would cry. Once when TaxiDad, J and E came home with little bitty fish from fishing and they were using a hammer to bonk them on the head and kill them. I stood there crying and saying sadly, "Their mommies are wondering what happened to them." Yeah, I was pretty pitiful. They were just fish, and strangers because I had just met them . . .

Curiouser and curiouser . . . MoaT gets a bite on the Freecycle post. A couple out of Springtown are interested. After MoaT explains the saga of the bees, this couple decide that they will place the queen with a nuc (yes, nuc - it's like a mini colony) and in a few weeks will give the queen and nuc to us! *We made a bee friend in the process, I think I love her. She is also a second mom, I'm gonna call her BeeFriend, Hi BeeFriend!*

So off the queen and her entourage go!! Can it get any crazier than this?

Maybe we'll be beekeepers yet . . . MoaT and I just laugh. It's all we can do . . . except for me. I'm going to have a bowl of chocolate fudge ice cream. That always makes the situation a bit sweeter and cheerful!

*I wasn't laughing. I was so sad to see our brave little colony die. But I think BeeFriend is gonna make it all better. She and her hubby are nice like that*

Anyhow, here's a picture of us making some goat's milk soap. Our friend who lives in a hoity toity subdivision with fancy schmancy homes has "A little Captain in her". She volunteered to goat sit for her back fence neighbor. I was mightily impressed at her tenacity in learning to milk that goat. Good for you SweetMom! You rock.


Speaking of needing to practice her focus.....

1 comment:

Kitt said...

Wow, those bees are quite the saga! I'm sorry the hive didn't make it. I've got my fingers crossed for your queen in her new nuc. Nice to have new bee friends!