Friday, March 20, 2015

New House bees settling in and why it's good to have a fast riding lawnmower in the Bee Yard

The new bees that were moved from the tree to the stand in our front yard are settling in nicely.  Yesterday there was a lot of zipping around in bee confusion as they tried to figure out why their queen moved to this new box.  And many bees were zipping around in the area of the tree where their old home was.  Today is much calmer with a few bees still zipping around the tree but it's pretty much normal bee foraging going on with a much calmer atmosphere than yesterday.

Today was lawn mowing day at the Bee Farm.  A little breezy and the first time mowing since the hive count made it to 4 out there.  The breeze made for some dust being thrown up by the riding mower  ... a little too much dust for the bees apparently.  Because on my first pass behind the hives I felt something hit my head.  And then another and another ... bam bam bam bam.  Major warnings being thrown at me by the guard bees.    So I shift into high gear full speed to get away before things get too interesting.  And they followed me for quite a ways until I jumped off the tractor and took off running, losing my sunglasses in the process.  Finally they let me go and I sheepishly returned to find my sunglasses.  Good thing I have to mow on the other side of the property and let things cool off by the hives.  But eventually I have to face up to the fact that the bee area still needs mowing.  Time to develop a plan.

The accelerator is increased quite high and the race course is formulated in my brain.  I'll zip under (actually into) the loquat tree and buzz the back of the hives with the pedal to the medal as they say.  Then do a little on the other size of the property setting up for another screeching run at the hives.  All they see is a red blur of the mower shooting past them before they even know what's happened.  The plan works !!!

Unfortunately one bee remembered me and away from the hives by the shed she would not leave me alone.  Quite the bee bully.  So time for another plan.  I grab a spray bottle of Murphy's oil soap and hold it up against my forehead as I quickly pump the sprayer turning in circles.  It works too.  Finally (before I got too dizzy) I see her start to fly away and she gets nailed with some dead on squirts of Murphy oil soap.  And that solves that problem.  Murphy's oil soap was what I had and it worked pretty good.  Shooting bees with warm soapy water will kill them.  So Murphy's was a good alternative. 

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