Tonight via skype..

D: Did you watch Glee tonight?
Me: David (exasperated).. there is no Glee in Canada.

honey do

It was last Saturday morning that I walked out onto the porch and heard a faint buzzing sound. There were at most 3 or 4 bees buzzing around the north column of our porch. I asked Dave if he'd noticed them to which he said no, so I moved on. We were working on filling our new raised bed that day and by noon the 3 or 4 bees had turned into more and they were clearing moving in and out of the post.
We had a hive, or a swarm or both. We didn't know what to call it, but neither of us were thinking about exterminating. I googled "live capture" bees and got a handfull of companies. I called 3. All of them seemed more interested in taking our money than our bees. That night the bees appeared to be gone. I even knocked, loudly, on the post with no sign of life. Sunday though saw a return of the bees and more of them. I should probably at this point deviate slightly from this story to explain that Dave and I have discussed keeping bees before. Why? Because we are clearly bonkers. This is what growing up in small towns will get you. The belief that you can 'raise' anything, including bees. We've even gone to a bee class hosted by Kirk Anderson, the backwards bee keeper, where we learned that keeping bees was not all that difficult. Thus Monday arrived with a new plan. We'd keep the bees, somehow. We just needed to find someone to get them out of the post for us, but in general no sense of urgency. Then Tuesday the bees began to build and gather outside the post. I called a few people who referred me to Kirk. Why I didn't think of him earlier, who knows? Probably because my mind was clouded with visions of pints of honey. Kirk, after doing a quick review of the situation agreed to come Sat. (yesterday) and remove the bees and set us up with our very own bee box. To say I was excited was a severe understatement.
This is the post after Kirk opened it up. First Whoa! That is a lot of bees. Second. Wait a second.. where is the post of the post? It was at this moment that Dave and I realized our porch was being held up by essentially 4 pieces of trim. As we discussed this alarming fact, Kirk pointed our that it had lasted this long, 80 years, and survived a few earthquakes, why were we worrying. While Kirk has a very good point, a voice kept screaming in my head NOT-A-POST. Kirk did distract us with several interesting bee facts. 1. Bees can't see in the dark. 2. Bees can't fly when their wings are wet, thus Kirk's trick of misting the hive with sugar water. Which leads to 3. Bees can't resist sugar. He also pointed out the the comb was very white and flexible which meant it was new. When asked how it gets darker, he noted that bees have dirty feet.
Kirk was awesome.
He also taught us how to build frames with string to put the new comb in after he removed it from the not-a post. Which is what he's doing in this photo. It should be noted that he put his gloves ON for this part but chose not to wear any for the majority of the time.
After all the bees found their way into the nuc box, either by brushing, scooping, or general pleading, we closed up the box. Cut a hole in the lid and taped it up on angles at the top of the not-a-post, so any bees out collecting pollen could easily find their new home. This is where the bees stayed until about 30 minutes ago. When I taped the hole closed and carried it to the back yard which will be their final home location. That's right, I carried a box full of bees, and I wasn't even scared.
Honey will do that to you.