Moving Honey Bees- Take 2

The blue and red lights of a bored sheriff flew on as soon as we turned on the main road.  We had barely gotten started, our precious load in the back, and we knew we hadn’t broken any traffic laws.  The sheriff sidled up to the truck window, lifted an eye brow, and said calmly, “The reason I stopped you is because one of your license plate lights is out.  It’s pretty dim.”

With all seriousness he said this.

Instead of blurting out, “Are you freaking kidding me?”, I gritted my teeth and replied calmly, “We have a bee hive in the back of the truck.”

“I don’t want to get stung!” he said.  I have never seen law enforcement retreat that quickly.

Bee and Shadow

The bee hive was in the back of the truck so we were already further ahead of where we were last week when Doug and I attempted to move it ourselves.

Have you ever had friends that have done so much for you that you will never in this lifetime pay them back?  That would be my friend, Lisa, and her family.  They showed up in the dark, probably preferring to be getting into bed with a nice cup of tea, and were ready to move our hive.

Lisa and I were friends with Nancy, the three of us loving all things homestead and simple.  All of us wearing our aprons around town.  Karaoke on Saturday nights at the coffee shop.  Watching our children get married and have children.  Friends like these are blessings.  Her husband, Lance, has helped us fix plumbing and set up stoves, he has helped us move heavy items.  Their sons helped us paint.  Their son Bryan built our hive, their son Brandon is a photographer and has taken many special photos of various events in our life, their son Brett is our bee guru.  At nearly nineteen he is the epitome of calm and composure, which is invaluable since around the bees, Doug and I are not.

They did not even bring suits.  Lance, Brandon, Brett, and Doug worked together quickly to secure the hive.  A piece of screen went in front of the door with the minimizer in front of it.  Duct tape went around the hive to secure the roof.  While putting duct tape across the door to secure the screen the whole door fell off and bees started flitting about and walking on Brett.  Calmly the men walked away and we all sat chatting for about a half hour while the bees settled in again.

The hive was heavy enough that four men used all their strength to get it on the back of the truck.  We placed it horizontally so that the combs wouldn’t swing when stopping and starting the truck.  Straw bales surrounded it.

When we got it to the new farmstead the four men took it deftly off the truck and placed it in its new location facing the garden.  Brett meticulously checked the outside of the hive, took off the tape, and then our friends left, travelling the long drive home late at night.  Oh boy, do we owe them!

This morning the bees are cleaning house, taking dead bees out and looking for flowers.  Tomorrow we will don our armor to get into the hive (as they will surely be irritated with us again; they ran us off the driveway last week after we tried to move them), and check to make sure that the combs are in place and that they are not any worse for wear.  Hopefully Queen Victoria has made the long journey well.  It certainly feels like we have a hive full of honey.  I can hardly wait to sample our own Wild Herb Honey!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. jennie says:

    I love your posts. im a random lurker. and am living vicariously through you. cant wait to have our own farmstead/homestead and bees …..cant wait.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Hopefully your journey will be easier by laughing and learning from all of our errors! Smooth sailing for you. Wishing you a homestead and bees very soon!

  2. bobraxton says:

    a moving story

  3. debweeks says:

    Alright!!!! A successful bee and hive move!!!!!

    Did I tell you that my oldest daughter has a growing interest in beekeeping?

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Can’t wait to show her the hive!

  4. Bill says:

    Congrats on the new hive! I’ve moved full hives like that a couple of times and both times the process was somewhat nerve-wracking. Both times it turned out just fine. May you enjoy abundant honey for many years!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I hope they (and I) never have to move again!

      1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Hi again FarmGirl, If you do need to move Victoria’s hive – or her “offspring” – best done in the Spring before Bloom Time (smaller bee population and less honey; )
        But it sure is good to have experienced beekeeping mentors, isn’t it?:D

      2. Farmgirl says:

        We hope to not move her now! May we not have to move either!

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