I have really enjoyed this journey of discovery working with honeybees for the last four years. Sadly, as some readers may know, I became allergic to bee stings at the end of last Summer. I was stung behind the ear and broke out in hives across my waist. Having a severe reaction in the area of the sting is common but having a reaction in a different part of your body is generally considered anaphylaxis. Since I didn't really want to give up beekeeping, I began allergy shots. I did that for a few months and at the end of December "something" happened. Not positive it was a reaction to the shots or not but lets just say I've been to the doctor(s) more times this year than I have my entire life. To top it all off, we decided to move and we are downsizing significantly by moving to a condo. No room for even half of our stuff, let alone any bee hives! So, now I'm moving on to a new phase of life.
Although I won't directly be keeping bees anymore, I will still be working with them from time to time because my friend Keith has taken the two hives that I had survive the winter. I can still observe and help advise while in my full bee suit, bee gloves, duct taped ankles and armed with my Epi-Pen. We moved the hives to Keith's house this past Sunday and I'm glad to say it went off without a hitch! I have to thank Chris at Show Me The Honey for the idea on how to move the hives. All we did was quickly cut some strips of #8 hardware cloth and staple them over the hive entrance, make a frame out of 2x4s and screw it around the hive, put a few ratchet straps around the hives and we were able to easily move them all the way from the back corner of the property and up to where the trailer was.
The fact that the temperature was in the mid 40s while we were doing this also helped since the bees weren't even flying by the time we suited up. After we loaded up the hives and the cinder blocks that they were resting on, we strapped them down to the trailer and headed off to Keith's house to deliver the girls to their new home!
We started at 7 PM and we were unloading them right when it was getting dark. We used a small trailer and a lawn tractor to move them to their new location. Much to my chagrin we learned how light the hives really were as we EASILY picked them up by the ratchet straps as we transferred them onto the small trailer. We probably didn't even need the 2x4 frame at all. Oh well, at least it worked well and we didn't drop a hive! I was glad to get a text the next day saying that the girls had already adjusted to their new home and were flying and bringing in stores.
I am very thankful that God gave me the opportunity to experience one of His fantastic and marvelous creations in this way. I hope to share that experience with others and continue to go to the State of Michigan Beekeepers Spring conference with Keith. I think we'd go just for the Michigan State University cafeteria food across the street! =) I also hope to make a post to the blog every now and again as I come across interesting new bee topics. Perhaps someday I'll even have the ability to get back into beekeeping. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? Not sure what else to say in a sappy "goodbye" post except for:
Until next time, thanks for reading!