Last Thursday night, 80 bee hives arrived at the farm...Our paid pollinators, they will be at work for the next month. We are grateful for the work they do, but it feels rather like an invasion...And more so, last Sunday, when we looked out to see a cloud of bees swirling in one of the berry rows. Suddenly, we all found something to do INSIDE, despite the lovely weather.
We were fortunate that the Bee Guys (sorry for the highly technical term) stopped by to service the hives. Randy called their attention to the cloud that had now become a swarm engulfing a raspberry bush. They said they would go in and find the queen, put her in a new box, and the rest would follow...Find the queen...in a mass of squirming, frantic bees...amazing! They did just that. Soon the box was crawling with bees.
However, these actions created a "High Alert" status with all the bees, and that seems to involve a lot of crankiness. Caitlin went out to put some thing in her car, and while there, a bee got caught in her hair. Neither one of them was excited about this, but Cait did her best to calmly rake him out with her fingers. He did not look kindly on this, and immediately attached himself to her hair again. She raked him out again, this time not so calmly. He responded in kind, clinging to her shirt, trying repeatedly to sting the fabric. By this time, she was trying to flick him loose, while running to the back door for help, Daisie following close behind.
I heard the door open in the utility and Caitlin, breathlessly asking me to help her. At the same moment, the bee flicked free of her shirt and out the door, which she quickly closed behind her. Oh, the bee was upset now, and sadly, Daisie was right there to be his target! He immediately took after her, buzzing and repeatedly dive-bombing her. She was frantically biting at the air, her legs, her back, her feet...The bee kept at her, finally attaching himself to her chest.
Oh poor Daisie! She couldn’t shake him and couldn’t reach him. She saw us at the window and leapt to the back door, pushing her head into the corner, trying to get in and away from the bee! We were watching her through the door’s window, the bee obviously still attached. In typical girl fashion, we were jumping around and saying, "What do we do? What do we do?", unwilling to open the door and let the dog AND the angry bee in the house. Daisie kept pushing at the door, and looking up at us, pleading for help...We felt terrible, but still couldn’t think of a good solution to our dilemma. Daisie jumped down and ran around the lawn, biting at herself, trying to shake off the bee. Once again, she slammed into the door with a pleading, pathetic, and then incredulous look when we just watched and took no action. Suddenly, she ran frantically off and out of sight.
We decided that now that she was away from the door, we could try to do SOMETHING! We shrouded ourselves in hooded sweatshirts, and full coverage footwear. I grabbed the broom and headed out to find the suffering dog, and do battle with the evil bee...but Daisie was nowhere to be found! Not in the back yard, not in the front yard, or the environs of the shop...I saw Randy there...I’m sure he was wondering why I was wearing a hoodie and waving a broom when I hollered to ask him, "Have you seen Daisie?!" Caitlin emerged from the house in her hoodie about the time of his answer: "Yea – she’s sitting in Caitlin’s car like she owns it."
In Caitlin’s haste to escape the bee, she had left the driver’s door open. Now Daisie was sitting on the passenger seat, finally safe from the bee – and quite reluctant to get out! Apparently, in Daisie’s mind, if you can’t get in the house, the next best thing is a car. She was sitting up very straight and stiffly, as if to make herself invisible from further bee interest. We had to do a lot of sweet talking to get her to come out, and many penance biscuits were fed throughout the evening. She was obviously disappointed with us, but by morning all was forgiven and forgotten...except she now snaps at every living thing that flies...She hasn’t forgotten that hateful bee! We’re just glad she’s not holding a grudge like that for us!