The new hive
and queen were installed on Saturday. By
Sunday afternoon there was a great mass of bees outside the old hive in the
house wall, unable to get back in. That night they formed a huge ball and clung
to the dome all night. We checked and took one picture with a flash. The
beekeeper came, checked on the queen, who was alive and well, still in her
little cage, and he was hopeful. Tuesday
the weather changed from sunny and warm to cold and rainy. The wind and rain
got quite hard, and we worried.
By early Tuesday
afternoon, the poor little bees were huddled together in the rain, unable to
return to the safety of their hive in the wall. They clung to the dome and
formed a large tight ball that literally vibrated during the first hours of the
rain. Did they shiver as we do to circulate whatever flows through their
bodies. We had no idea, and we couldn't think of any way to protect or warm
stopped moving at all. No vibrating, no flying, no anything. The stillness was
eerie. But no bee bodies littered the ground below the dome. We checked again
the next morning before daylight. They might have been frozen in place, but it
wasn't that cold. The Internet didn't tell us about such a situation, and we
didn't have any idea if they could survive. By early afternoon it had warmed a
little and a few began flying. Hope returned. Happily we shot off another email
and picture to our beekeeper friend. He wasn't sure either and passed it on to
a more experienced friend.
after sundown, another cool one, there were far fewer bees visible on the dome.
Were they dead? Had they taken shelter in trees or bushes? Found a new home? We
did see three or four enter the new hive, but no large numbers, no swarm as we
Almost gone Thursday
came, sunny and fairly warm. The bees almost disappeared from the dome. We
waited anxiously for the beekeeper. This time he came in his white suit and
watched. Not much was happening, so he removed the top to the new hive to check
on the queen. Bees! And the queen had eaten the candy plug in her box and
escaped. He took off the screen and peered into the hole. Thousands of bees!
They'd moved into the new hive and were alive and well. What excitement!
You'd think, for all our interest and
enthusiasm, we'd want the bees, but we've been trying to get rid of them for
years. It just seems that such tough, determined little creatures deserve a
chance, and we wanted them to find a place where they'd be welcome. So, long
live the Queen!