Well, I've totally embarrassed Phelan. I think she's going to be hiding under her bike or worms for a while.
My husband & I have a bee hive. In the city you can have one farm animal. I figure since they all live in one hive - it is one animal. I know they aren't animals. Anyways, when we got the hive we lived on our farm. We have 120 acres in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Flint Hills are rolling prairie that is so isolated that one can actually find spots that if you turn 180 degrees you will not see a single man made item. Absolutely beautiful.
We bought the hive in the winter. A good time to transport bees - very docile. By the spring we had learned a lot about bees, through reading, but not a lot of experience.
My husband, that spring, had gone north a few hours to work so was staying away from home for a while. Our home has a master bedroom with a door leading outside. Never having to worry about bad guys I sept with this door open at night. I woke up one morning to a strange sound coming from outside that door. I, really couldn't place the sound. So I got up to look. The sound was getting louder and reminded me of a huge vacuum cleaner. There it was my bees where swarming. They were leaving the hive in a tornado fashion & hanging onto a tree in the yard.
I had no idea what to do, if anything. We have an amazing vet. He takes care of all the reserve animals- I've seen bald eagles there, owls, he is just very well respected. But, when I called him that day, to ask if there was something I could do, I thought maybe he had lost his mind. When I told him they were swarming, he got all excited & said that it was rare anymore for them to swarm. Then he said I should catch them. "What. Catch them. With what." He made some suggestions & said to call him back and let him know how it had gone.
Well, never to let a challenge go unchallenged. I got a card board box, two kids, my mother & a saw. Yep, I did. My boys were only 10 & 12 yrs. old at the time. The younger decides that a hand saw was not good enough to saw a limb so he takes off to a neighbor to get a better saw. That was going to take quit a while, so I tied the hand saw around my other boy's waist & tell him to climb the tree. He had a few questions and doubts. But, did it. I got the box and stood under the tree. My mother pulled up a lawn chair and watched.
He began to saw. "I don't think they like this mom." "Their getting mad mom". "Just keep sawing" I, at the safety of the bottom of the tree, told him. Then the limb began to bend. The bees were getting into quit the frenzy. But, down it came, right into the box. "Don't move, don't move." I yelled to my boy. He, as usual, obeying my every word, raced down the tree. My mother was yelling "You did it" I looked down into the box and said "Ouch. Ouch.". The bees were attacking me. My arm was getting covered with bees. I started to run from them, with the bees chasing me. My mother, began to chase me with a dish towel. Swatting at me and screaming.
She succeeded in getting them off of me and I only had six stings. I felt that I had won the day. I called the vet back. To my disbelief he said. "You caught them? How in the world did you do that. I really didn't think that you would try." Ok, you don't tell a person to do something & not mean it. That is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
"What am I suppose to do now" I asked him. "I don't know. I guess you need to find a place to put them. A new home." Sure, he wants me to find these very angry bees a new home. So, I put them in an old garage.
This bee story goes on & on. But, I will cut to the chase. The next day I went to work. Goria, the goat. Got loose. My mother trying to help, tied Gloria up in the - you guessed it- the garage. When I got home. Gloria had kicked the box with the bees in it and got stung hundreds of times. She was swollen up and sick. She of course survived. The bees, however, had moved.
My husband came home that day. We did not know where the bees where. He decides to mow. A while later he comes in & says "I found the bees." He had run over them with the mower. They were on the ground. Now, my bee population has dwindled quit a bit. We try to find the queen to move them, but, as far as I know, she's been killed in all this trauma. We go into the house to get the smoker and when we come out - all the bees are up in a tree.
I give up. Most of the bees where dead or ran away from these crazy people. Next day the only bees I can find are the ones in the hive. I figure, what was left of the hive that swarmed went back to the original hive.
We still have that hive. It has been seven years since that day. But, every winter my bees leave the hive & return in the spring. Bee keepers say this does not happen. It does at my house. I figure, like Phelan, they are weird.