Last week I caught a couple of swarms of bees. After I hived them, I sort of basically left them where they were so they could settle in (and because I was too lazy to do anything about it.) After a weekend of talking myself into it, I finally mustered up the will to move them to a permanent location yesterday evening.
I happened to take a look at the weather radar and figured I needed to do something and soon as their temporary location was not great, rain-wise. As always, I wait until just short of the last minute to do stuff, so I scrambled around the house and found some duct tape and a roll of baling twine (as well as a toilet plunger and a box of plastic spoons) and loaded up the man-van to move some bees before the coming storms hit (and I almost made it).
Before I go any farther, let me warn you…what I am about to tell you should not be attempted under any circumstances and is merely a figment of your imagination…I would never really do this ; -)
To move bees, I wad up some paper and stuff it into the entrance which I tape in place. I do the same with the top entrance (basically a “breather hole”). Then I wrap a ratcheting strap around the hive and beat feet with it to the back of the van. There are always bees that hang on the outside and underneath. Most times a couple of dozen bees seem to outsmart my tape job too. Still, I slam the door down and go for it. You see, if I ever really did this I would not be fearful because, as it turns out, the bees that do escape have absolutely no interest in messing with me. They see the light through the windows and buzz around as bugs do when caught behind glass.
If I ever really did do this a bunch of times, I would probably be able to tell you that I have never once been bothered by bees with this method and the bees have always been transported successfully and with no damage to me or them. But, of course, I have never done any of this, right?
Beekeeping is always an adventure. As always, there are risks when messing with thousands of stinging insects with no moral compulsion towards fair play…but the nature of bees is incredibly fascinating and mostly understandable…or so I have heard…I never do these sorts of things though…