Last night, while I was working on preparations for a dinner party we’re having this evening, a phone call came to our house that Brian answered. It was a landscaper friend of ours who lives in a house I used to rent a few block away wondering if we were still interested in getting bees going in our backyard. Well yes, Brian said, but we weren’t really thinking we would be ready until next year…. you know, we have to build up our fence and all that. But there’s a swarm you can have right now! Our friend said.
And so I got in my car and drove the ten blocks to check out what he was talking about. When I got there, I realized that the swarm belonged to his neighbours, R&M who I also know back from my days in environmental activism around the Elaho Valley. Their hive had split and part of it had flown off into the neighbours yard. By the time I got there, these beekeeping friends had smoked the swarm into a box where they were clumping together and getting ready to settle in for the night. So as long as they don’t fly off again (which seemed unlikely from their behaviour) then I can pick them up on Saturday and R&M will lend me a starter bee box until I can get my own set up going. I’m partial to top-bar hives, so my task today is to track down the local expert on TBH and see if I can purchase a set-up from him and get some guidance on transferring the newly-forming hive.
This means a bunch of additional work on the weekend I wasn’t expecting – beyond picking up the bees, we will have to pickup and install some trellis atop our fence in the backyard to bring it to regulation height (something we had planned for anyway). This is on top of our trek to pick up a hazelnut tree for the frontyard and another trip to the homebrew shop to pick up some wine and beer-making ingredients. But really, I couldn’t pass the opportunity for free, local bees up! And I’m so excited to get going on all these weekend projects.