One of my hives swarmed Sunday. I don’t know if was the “nice” bees from the hive on the left, or the “mean” bees from the hive on the right (only one shows on this page anyway), because there is still one heck of a lot of bee activity in both of those hives. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we could float an ark back there right now, so I haven’t been back there to put supers on for honey storage like I should have been. Something about mud and mire and duck poop and all that. Anyway, the bees felt too crowded and swarmed, which means they made a new queen and half the bees stayed at home while the other half followed the old queen in search of a new home.
If you’ve ever been around swarming bees,you know they are so totally docile you can scoop them up by the handful and they don’t care. They just hang out in a knot on a branch somewhere like they’re on drugs and wait for the scout bees to tell them where there’s a nice condo for lease close by. Or something like that. Anyway, these bees apparently swarmed about the time we came home from church, and the grandkids next door spotted them in the grey dogwood tree by the driveway and got all excited. As did their mother, who was shouting and gesticulating wildly from her deck as I was futilely trying to get a few tomato plants in the ground before the next deluge fell upon us. Futile. Absolutely futile. If we had to depend on my garden this year I would be buying clothes six sizes smaller for winter.
Long story short, after asking Sean if he would help me get the swarming bees in a hive, and being met with the best deer-in-the-headlights look I’ve seen in awhile, he and Bud did in fact whomp them into a hive. While I took pictures. Which were with Katie’s camera, so I don’t even have any to post. Me, the one person who has actually handled swarming bees before, becomes the photographer. But they did a fabulous job, so I’m not complaining. Then the rains came down and we left the hive there between our houses, close to where the kids often play, and went in for the night. And didn’t move them in the morning (bad, bad). If you know bees, you know that means they came out in the bright morning sun, flew around to set their GPS bearings to their new home site, and flew off to get busy.
That evening after they were all in for the night we did move them down back, in front of the two hives that were already there. And the morning came and they flew out and got busy, but many of them forget to reset their little GPS’s. So they flew back to the tree by where the kids play, and there was much unhappiness among the land next door. And I said, “What the heck am I supposed to do? Give them engraved invitations? Put leashes on them? Walk them home each time they come back?”
So the evening of the third day came upon us, and the errant bees had again formed a swarm in the grey dogwood tree by the driveway, and I wondered if perhaps they would still be docile due to their not having a home or a queen to protect. So I took a bucket and whomped the branch into the bucket and the bees WERE VERY ANGRY!!! (Did I mention I hadn’t bothered to put on long sleeves, or gloves, or even a bee veil?) Long story short, I got stung on the arm and the lip, and several minutes later my husband got stung on the arm while pulling a few weeds close by (really?? he never does that and perhaps should go back to his previous schedule after what happened this time).
And that, dear friends, is how I ended up spending most of last night in the hospital emergency room while my husband was being treated for angioedema. I always thought if your body, face, mouth, tongue, and throat swelled dramatically that was an anaphylactic reaction, but no, they tell me that’s angioedema. You also need a drop in blood pressure and adrenal collapse to be full blown anaphylactic. They’re right next door to each other though, and last night portends that next time we better be prepared.
We now have an epi pen in the house. And those bees back there? He says we can keep them, but I’m thinking I would rather keep him.
Filed under: Bees | Tagged: angioedema | 3 Comments »