Was not expecting to come home to this:
Just to prove how big of a point I am trying to make, note the lack of caption on the photo. Ahem.
When installing your package of bees, you're supposed to, AND I QUOTE: "spray them down, bump the bees back, open the box up, and shake them in".
Got it? Good.
We talked about it in class extensively, and watched videos in class as well. Of people doing this. They showed us how to do it at field day (although I was not one of the few who tried it there....). And then in preparation for doing it myself, I watched more youtube videos of people doing it. Guys and gals with no protective gear whatsoever transferring happy bees into their new happy home happily and probably then turning off the camera and going home whilst singing tralalala through the woods.
So. I sprayed mine down, bumped them back, opened up the end instead of the top where the can is because with the newfangled containers we got that did not match ANY of the videos of bee shaking I watched (but I'll get back to THAT in a minute) you can do that, shook them in and good golly holy hell where there a lot of fucking bees flying around. The acorn, who had been taping up until about this point when the battery on my phone died because I was TOTALLY prepared, started backing away slowly at this point. I can only imagine what thoughts were going through his head as he watched a million gajillion angry bees swarm around my body. I had been told (and told, and told....) that a few bees would be left in the package and that you just leaned it up against the hive body and that they would want to go in after their sisters and would within 24 hours or so. OK. No biggie. Got it. It seemed like a rather large amount of bees that hadn't made it in the hive, but surely that was OK....
Did package #2, although with this one said 'fuck it' and decided to open the middle top of the box where the can of syrup is inserted like they did in ALL the videos I watched (albeit of the older packages, but still). Spray, bump, shake, boom, all in. Lean package up against side for stragglers. Except not nearly as many stragglers on this one. Hrrrm. Went back and checked #1.... only to find a good half of the bees still in the box. Fuck. Figuring I had royally screwed this hive up and probably didn't have enough survivors anyway, I decided I had nothing to lose by opening that hive back up again and spraying, bumping, and shaking the bees into the box again in hopes of getting them all in.
Whew. Mission accomplished. Ish. I think. I've never done this before.
Being a total genius and *not* wanting to burn down the 40 acres of woods and new house we're building, I set the still-lit smoker down on a cinder black a good 15ft or so from the hives and went down and went to bed excited that I finally had bees. SQUEEEE!
Until the Redneck called me at work the next day.
Came home to find all those bees all over the smoker. I figured it was no big deal. I had to feed the bees anyway (um. yeah. because I only had enough sugar for about a quart total of syrup when I really needed close to a gallon....), so sprayed down the outside of the smoker and bumped and shook them back into the box. Yes! Success! Wait. Is that a bee coming out of the spout? Oh! And another! Ok. A few must have gotten inside. No biggie. I still have sugar syrup in my spray bottle, I'll just spray them down and open up the can and bump and shake those into the box, too.
Except when I opened the lid, a million gajillion bees came pouring out of the can of the smoker like a horror movie of some sort. They just kept coming out!!
Loooong story short, it took gasoline and taking the bellows off the back to get all the bees out. Yup. It sucked.
|Still. More. Bees.|
|My smoker's all cool and vintage and shit. Got it from a very awesome local farmer who kept bees 30 years ago....|
|Back in action.|
Or - follow the video of the maker of the new-fangled package we got and set them in the box and let them crawl out on their own.
Or something. But definitely no leaving lit smokers 15ft away from bees looking for a home and a refuge due to an idiot beekeeper not knowing how to bump and shake them properly!