Move ’em on, head ’em up,

Head ’em up, move ’em out, 

Move ’em on, head ’em out Rawhide! 

Set ’em out, ride ’em in 

Ride ’em in, let ’em out, 

Cut ’em out, ride ’em in Rawhide. 

Rounding up bees to move from Northern California to Northern Montana isn’t quite like rounding up cows.  But we still like to sing Rawhide! when we’re doing it.

On Friday evening, Honeydew, Travis, and Neil went out to one of the holding yards to “round up” some of our hives, twirling their custom miniature ropes as they approached.

I kid.


It’s best to load bees in the darkness, after they’ve all come home for the day and are gathered around the Queen, answering her questions about the day’s activities.

How did the manzanita nectar taste today, Sally?  Did you pick up any blue pollen, Lita?  Is the peach bloom on track, Dolly?

Perhaps my imagination is too active at times.



At any rate, the crew used the forklift to place the first load of bees on the beds of the flatbed pickups, opened up a vein swiped the VISA for two last tanks of California diesel, and headed north and east at dawn.


They stopped for the night in Jackpot, Nevada, essentially the halfway point between Palo Cedro, California and Babb, Montana, and apparently had a fun evening.  I didn’t ask too many questions about that part of their journey — the name “Jackpot” should tell you all you need to know about this little Nevada border town.

Sunday, they crossed the Montana line with joy, but knew they were driving into a fairly significant spring blizzard.


I ran the winter storm intelligence operation from my laptop, scrutizining weather and road maps and asking our Facebook fans to weigh in on the road conditions the heavily loaded trucks and trailers would soon encounter.  Thank you to everyone who provided intelligence!


They arrived in Browning about 6:30pm, reunited Neil with Pseudo Sista, unloaded the hives onto a foot or so of fresh snow, and arrived near Babb as darkness fell.



I bet those hives are wondering what in the heck happened in the last 48 hours.  It was about 9F near Babb this morning.

Welcome home, girls!

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