We tease Dish, our Darling Summer Help, that his resume is going to be 10 pages long when he leaves us at summer’s end. Since his arrival, his duties for Glacier County Honey Company have ranged from actual beekeeping (the glamour: checking hives – the drudgery: scraping frames), lawn care, grocery fetching (hey, anyone going to an actual town, or coming from one, gets put to this task), gopher hunting, peak bagging, 4 wheeling, photographing, and others too menial to even mention.
Not long after Dish arrived, he and Honeydew walked out to the Big Field to check our home bee yard. One day, we plan to market a limited edition honey from this special yard and call it Hillhouse Riserva – perhaps next year. This year is centered around The Construction Project, unfortunately.
At any rate, Dish and Honeydew went out to the Big Field and Honeydew’s sharp eyes immediately spotted a problem with the home yard. Nope, not a grizzly bear having a snack. Not even a skunk trying to infiltrate a hive. Do you see the problem?
That’s a swarm of bees. They’ve grown weary of their hive, and absconded. Naughty, naughty bees. Sure to get coal in their hives for Christmas this year. Actually, Honeydew says that is not true – swarms are just a hive’s way of reproducing and finding a new home to live in. But I think it sounds better the other way.
I think swarms are like teenagers … they think they want to leave home and live their lives out there in the real world, just as they please. But they don’t, not really. The real world is a cold, windy, mean place. These bees just need a little more space, a hive of their own, so to speak.
So, Dish prepared to add Forklift Operator and Swarm Rescuer to his resume. Such a task involves using the forklift to lift Honeydew some thirty feet off the ground, along with an empty hive. Honeydew will then attempt to coax the swarm of bees into their new home. Interesting work for Dish, who had driven the forklift a total of maybe 10 minutes before being asked to lift his bossman thirty feet off the ground. I was at home cooking dinner during this decision making process, or I might have objected. Vehemently. Not that I don’t have complete and total faith in Dish, but still …
Roy Rogers, our #1 beekeeping dawg, assisted, of course.
Sorry. Puppies distract me.
Back to the task at hand – Dish lifted Honeydew up into the tree on a pallet, with the empty hive.
I don’t know what magic words Honeydew whispered to this swarm, but soon enough, he had coaxed them into the hive.
And Dish put the camera down to deliver Honeydew safely to the ground. Thank you, honey.
That is quite a hive of bees. Hi girls! Welcome back to the fold.
Teenagers. Sheesh. What, do they want to go on a field trip to Abercrombie & Fitch? Is life near Glacier National Park not enough for them?
Odd. I feel like I’m having future deja vu.
2010. Glacier County Honey Co. Photo credits to Jeff Street. All Rights Reserved.