Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In which Mian and Chicu astound themselves

G warned me a couple of weeks ago that our bees would likely swarm this month. Apparently, they do that after a year in the hive.

'Mine, all Mine. And they will stay that way', said I and sent him off to 'borrow' a hive box from A and D.

And then I left for a week-long workshop in another state.
I got back yesterday and noticed that the box had arrived. I decided to spend the next afternoon cleaning and mending it.

The bees had other plans.  As Mian and I sat drinking coffee today I noticed a lump on a peach tree. A curiously vibrating, shimmering lump. Our bees had swarmed!
 A cursory search on the internet revealed that this is when bees are most docile. Apparently, it is easy enough to drop them into a box. When I called G to share the good news of the swarm and our plans to capture it, he was adamant. 'You absolutely will not do this, Madam. I will send someone.'


I busied myself cleaning the borrowed hive of all the muck of its neglected past. It was washed, dried, sunned and still no bee whisperer.

In the meantime, Mian had done his research. We decided to go ahead with capturing the hive.
Now in the mountains, women are not supposed to touch a hive. But of the two of us, Mian has far stronger biceps. So he got the job of holding the hive box under the swarm while I scraped the bees off the branch using a stick. They fell in one mass with a plop, accompanied with a smothered yelp from Mian. He got  stung on the forehead. But considering both of us had minimal gear- sun hats (no veil) and gardening gloves, I am  impressed with the single sting.

And after that, it was sit and wait while we made sure the queen was in the hive and the swarm was content. As of now, they seem to have accepted their home.

Our tasks today?
Move the hive into the fenced garden after sunset. Replace the panels. Remove old wire from one entrance. Secure the box lid with wire.
And I am so very very proud. Think of it. Beekeeping here has a mysticism. there are three bee-whisperers in the area, and they are the only ones who handle hives. And here are Mian and I, amateurs sans gear, who managed to hold on to a swarm. I am happy.