We headed down the country roads at dusk, watching the colors change across the horizon, mountains and trees becoming shadows. We still have a bit of work at the old house to do. We still have the basement and the garage to clean out and some spiffing up around the property before we send back the keys. One thing we still needed to move was the bees. I suppose we have been procrastinating. We went at night certain that they would all be enveloped around their queen, their gentle rumble keeping the hive warm. We would simply staple a bit of screen on the door and be out of there before they became wise. Imagine our surprise when ten or so guard bees still walked the front of porch of the top bar hive. Not sleepy in the least.
We didn’t come prepared with a ready to go smoker since we thought the kingdom was going to be asleep. We took the empty smoker sheepishly over to our neighbor’s house and asked for a lighter and something to burn in it. In her backyard she gave us some old woodchips and held out a handful of leaves and we went back over to the hive. We had our suits on and a flashlight, which just seemed to wake the bees up more. We started the smoker and a strange smell came out of it.
I said, “It smells like pot. What did she give us?” Doug leaned in to see.
“I burnt my sinuses!” he exclaimed, jumping back.
“Why did you put your face so close to the smoker?!”
We were manic. Apparently moving thousands of bees isn’t a common activity for us. We don’t smoke pot, but if there were a good time to start, last night would have been it.
The smoke was hot. Too hot and I rather fear that I burnt the first layer of bees through the hive door. We were just panicked. Doug quickly stapled some screen onto the door and as we looked up we saw that around the roof of the hive there were several open areas. We both took a good, deep breath and planned our next move. We each got on one side and tried to lift it. We made it six inches up when Doug said to put it down. Who would have thought that several thousand wee bitty bees and their honey would weigh so much! We agreed that we have no idea what we are doing and disappointedly went home, now certain that no one would be stealing our bees.
We need to call in reinforcements.