All I ever really wanted was to be a cowgirl; no mind that I grew up in a concrete block apartment in the city. The longer I live, and the more experience I have in the rural community where I have settled, country “sayings” are starting to make more sense.
Yesterday I was so excited when Tim Lindley, a Bond County Illinois bee keeper knowing of my interest in keeping bees, called to tell me he had a swarm. Was I interested? Absolutely! Tim had been contacted to remove a swarm of feral bees clustered in a local dairy farmer’s tree and they could be mine if I wanted! Here’s Tim up on the tractor lift gently coaxing them into a nuc box.
Before you know it, with Tim’s expertise they were safely ensconced in my top bar hive back at home. All afternoon I would go out and watch them, in awe of the noisy, rich and vibrant HUMMMM of hundreds of bees. I could hardly believe I had them!!! BUSY AS A BEE HIVE, was my new bee hive.
This misty Sunday morning, first thing I did was pop out of bed and mix more sugar/water to feed the bees and headed outdoors. Where yesterday was a hive raucous with new bees, I saw just a few lone stragglers and the hive was eerily quiet. I lifted the lid where I could see the outer chamber I was keeping the sugar water in. There was only a bee or two feeding. I’ve read that you can’t predict if bees will stay at your place, but I still felt a HUGE sense of disappointment. Don’t count your eggs before they hatch, my little mind said to me. I really get that saying now.
I went back inside and left Tim a phone message, feeling very apologetic since gathering up a swarm is no small task: ” The bees are gone,” I told him. “I had the entrance facing west. Should I have turned the hive in another direction?”
I called him back and left a second message: “No, I Did have the entrance holes facing East, so they would have gotten morning sun. That’s the right way to do it right?”
An hour or two later I called him back a third time and this time Tim answered. “GUESS WHAT?!” I said. “I DO still have the bees!” They were there now buzzing and floating everywhere. Tim explained that if it’s overcast in the morning, bees just might not move around much.