Saturday, May 31, 2014


I'm simply going to give a pictorial timeline for how yesterday went. I know you're all waiting for the conclusion of what is now a trilogy.....  Picture credit goes to Kaat, who was an amazing team mate on all of this. It was a long day, and almost all about bees. 

Kaat and I got to the DeCordova at 9am and met up with Sam. No change since Thursday. Jarrett had suggested drizzling some honey into the top hole, trying to avoid gluing up the bottom entrance in the process. Anita from Beverly Bees also suggested lemongrass oil, which I had on hand (Of course! It's sun & bug lotion season!), so I filled a drinking straw with honey and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil, and squeezed that into the top hole. 

To add a bit of stick to that offering of carrot, I smoked the bees in the screened installer a bit. It created a stir at the top hole, but no general upwards movement. 

We stayed and watched for a bit...

No dice. Bees are staying put.

So we left for a bit, and Kaat and I took a trip up to Rick's to buy a bunch of bee supplies (I'm looking to create a split off my two hives, you'll hear more about that soon), and we got a chance to pick his brain on the situation. Rick and Jarrett had met a few weeks ago, so Rick was familiar with Jarrett's project and general approach. We all agreed that we needed to somehow do something different, being that the bees showed no inclination to make the first move. We were getting concerned that if for some reason, the bees couldn't or wouldn't move out of the installer, they would run out of fuel and starve. We also ran into some logistical deadlines from the side of the museum. A change of plan was needed!

After checking with Jarrett on the phone, we abandoned a few more drastic ideas and decided to add more honey through the top hole, create a honey trail from the top hole to the installer, and then pry a small plexiglass screen off the top of the installer, hoping that the bees would follow the honey into the hive and make it their permanent home.

I'm only barely tall enough to reach the front entrance of the Haven hive with the squeeze bottle of honey. Luckily it wasn't a very windy day ...

I had a small assortment of razor blade, small screwdrivers, a pocket knife and a letter opener with me, to try and get the screen off. I was happy for my old climbing gear with lots of loops and hooks. After breaking the razor blade, I succeeded with a small screwdriver and opened the top of the installer. I was mentally prepared for the motherload of bees right in my face, see how close I am?

When that didn't happen, my first impression was relief. The bees didn't do anything crazy, like take off and abscond. They stayed surprisingly peaceful after being meddled with so much today. I unhooked myself from the top, climbed down and we took the ladder off.

A trail of bees developed. 

There was a definite trend ...

Sam took this picture later in the day... bees still there, still crawling up the front wall of the Haven hive.


Et voila. Sam snapped this peaceful shot as the dark rain clouds moved in this evening. That is all I needed to call this one a One Good Day. Kicked back with friends, good food, craft beers and great conversation. On Sunday, I will go and take down the installer, and go back to waiting by the phone for the next swarm ...

1 comment:

  1. Okay, this is beyond awesome! I love the idea of a more wild setting for bees. Super cool project.