We noticed a few innocent-looking honey bees buzzing around the kids’ trampoline …
A few bounces later they decided to set up home, with a perfect north-east aspect, under the metal springs and hidden by the support bar.
Our small farm may not be the Hundred Acre Wood but Winnie-the-Pooh would be delighted to see this new honey hive under construction. Personally, I love honey but even though the prospect of organic honey was sorely tempting, I didn’t think the honey bees would be pleased to have their new abode constantly subjected to screaming kids and bouncing forces.
So we called Steve, our local apiarist, who called around dressed only in shorts, tee-shirt and thongs (Aussies’ name for flip-flops). A brave man, in anyone’s language. With years of experience, he gently moved the hive (with his bare hands!) into a bee box. He then placed the container onto the ground and promised to return around twilight.
The circling honey bees, he said, needed a little time to voluntarily make their way into the container. This way, no honey bee would be left behind as the colony was moved to a new permanent location – somewhere other than our little farm. Besides we are blessed with our own visiting bees and a new colony may have disturbed the dynamics. No one wants cranky honey bees!
Anger-management training for honey bees may have been recommended, as was the case for a certain Black Angus cow – but that’s another story.
All went smoothly. Shrewd Steve returned as promised when the honey bees were all inside and dutifully docile. The hive and colony were transported under the safety of night-fall to a flower-drenched property several kilometres away.
Although their rapid house-building abilities were outstanding, I don’t think we’ll miss them.