Friday, August 17, 2012

bees, 2

I am done being a beekeeper.

You are supposed to be here for this shit. I am not supposed to be getting mobbed and stung and fucked with. YOU are supposed to be here and we are supposed to be doing this together. Right now, I hate bees. I hate them. I don't know why they are aggressive like this, but I can't get anywhere near them. Not that it does any good, but right now I just want to leave the damn hive open where I left it and let the bees figure it out themselves - fall over, get rained on, I do not care. Nor came out there, all suited up, to help, but I can't even run the smoker without hundreds of very angry bees stinging me through my clothes.

So now I am home, still shaking. More from the YOU SHOULD BE HERE to deal with this than with the actual upset at bees. Though I am definitely still upset about bees. So now I am waiting to hear if I can find another full body armor bee suit so I can go back there again today and get this done. And go back tomorrow to actually remove the supers.

This is my last weekend as a beekeeper. Angry bees + not having you here to do this stuff with me = fuck this shit.

Sorry for the language, me.

update - well I'm home now, and calmer. Fully suited, two of us managed to get the supers off, excluder on, and supers back on, all without incident. Giant bee suits make a big difference. However, I have just learned that I missed an important part of the whole bee excluder thing, so the whole fiasco of today may be completely worthless. Whatever. Two of three helpers for tomorrow cancelled; now trying to find new helpers. Repeatedly asking for help, repeatedly trying to pin down people who said they would help and then stopped responding, trying to organize a bunch of people who are trying very kindly to squeeze me in somewhere, matching a whole bunch of peoples' schedules to the weather - I really don't need beekeeping to remind me how much of a non-priority I am, as it should be, in other peoples' lives. So. Thank you to the hoardes of bees for making my decision very clear and easy.

For now, I am going to take benadryl, eat dinner, and try not to think about tomorrow.


  1. Oh, megan, I am sorry that you are having a bad time with the bees. I know maybe you won't want to read anything about bees at this moment, but there is some really excellent advice part way down this page where beekeepers are discussing nasty bees that suddenly start attacking when they never did before. One answer in particular seemed good - and that had to do with bee behaviour when nectar in plants starts to drop off, as it probably is at this point in summer - and the bees can be angry as there is less food than there was when things were really boomin. The beekeeper mixes up sugar water and puts it in a squeeze bottle to spray in the hives before working so that the bees are preoccupied. A few people mention that when nectar is becoming short in supply, smoke will not placate the bees at all. Here is the thread. The poster is Apiarist and it is maybe 20 or 30 posts down - maybe even more as there are tons of posts about this subject. The time and date of the post was 04-06-2012 7:14 p.m.
    If that link doesn't work, let me know. I had to type it out as it would not cut and paste.
    Sorry I cannot be there to help you.

  2. Thanks bev. I managed to borrow three full bee suits, and two of us managed to get the bee excluder on this afternoon. Far too late, I was informed I needed to block the inner cover - so possibly all the work of today was useless. And I just learned two of three people I had helping me are now not available. But I do have one person to help. It has made the decision about whether or not to continue with the bees very easy.

    I think the girls are aggressive due to humidity, possibly low nectar flow, and they could be queenless. We had a queenless hive once that was very aggressive, but this one was orders of magnitude worse. I will have sugar spray with me tomorrow too, just in case - full suits, smokers, sugar spray. So done with bees.

  3. Yup. I can tell you that I would be so done with the bees too. Sometimes circumstances are such that a decision becomes pretty damned easy. These days I have become a bit mercenary about anything that gives me too much trouble. As the Queen in Alice in Wonderland liked to say, "Off with its head!". Usually something better comes along to take its place. Take care and better luck tomorrow.