I told you last time that after working for like THREE HOURS moving the birdhouse hive into my top bar hive, when I finally got cell reception again back in town, I had another call for a swarm from a guy basically across the street from UCSC!
Well, well, welllllll! Those bees were a feisty bunch! They were perched wayyyyy up top in this enormous bottlebrush tree (aka made of thorns tree!), luckily on one main branch, but unluckily attached to smaller secondary branches. Little Tederous with beer in hand took to hacking away about half of it just so we could teeter the too-short ladder inside the bush, have me piece my way up through the thorns, hobble on the top “this is not a step” step, and use big lobbers (and ALL my strength might I add) to cut the 2 inch thick branch with the large swarm.
There was no way to have a second person hold the bucket under the bees while I cut their branch free, and there was no way for me to both hold the bucket AND the lobbers, so I asked for an old pizza box that ended up working perfectly to create enough surface area across the long strings of thorns that the bucket could sit nicely right under the ball of bees.
This was the plan:
- dont fall off the ladder
- dont let the bucket lid fall off the top of the ladder
- cut away all excess branches and twigs
- place bucket under bee swarm
- thoroughly mist bees with water
- cut main branch, have the whole ball of bees fall perfectly into the bucket
- DON’T DROP THE BUCKET!
- put the lid on
- REALLLLY dont fall off the ladder!
- ted tears me long strips of duct tape
- seal the bucket
at the moment of truth, as I was half way through cutting the 2 inch thick branch that held all the bees, who decided to come and RUIN EVERYTHING??!?!?
I was going to post a picture just then for dramatic effect, but alas I cannot even click the thumbnail image on google! SO. DISGUSTING!
Oh… ohhhh no! And this was no ordinary worm! IT WAS THE MOST DISGUSTING WORM I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!
It had a suction cup for a face
and a suction up for a butt
face and butt were indistinguishable
and instead of inching along the topside of a branch…
it SWUNG ACROSS THE BOTTOM!
It was quite an ironic scene, actually, once I thought about it. Here I am terrified of a 1 inch long worm that’s 4 feet away from me (“OH MY HOLY FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU EW GROSS AHHHHHHH!!!!!!”), meanwhile having no problem with teetering at the tippity top of a jenky ladder 12 feet off the ground, about to fall into a bush made of thorns that ALSO happens to contain upwards of 30,000 sleeping bees. Not to mention that my assistant AND both property tenants were drunk!
Anyways, I just kept yelling at the worm until it swung away into the shadows (“YEAH YOU BETTER KEEP WALKING…. AWAY FROM ME. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT HITCHING A RIDE ON MY CLOTHES EWWWWW FFFFFUUUUUUUU!!!”), and finally resumed cutting the branch.
Moment of truth.
I aimed the bucket.
I aimed my cutting.
I tried to aim the branch with the ball of bees,
like a bandaid…
The branch buckles into the bucket!
BUT BRANCHES ON THE BACK OF THE SWARM BALL RETAIN HALF OF THE BEES!
…which, might I add, are no longer sleeping! s o o o o o p i s s e d ! ! !
I now had this blob of bees just in an absolute mess, laying half in the bucket, half out, HALF ATTACKING ME NOW, mixed up in brambles on thorns.
Ted was holding the ladder below. “Hey uhh… how’s it goin’ up there Katie? They’re uh, really startin’ to fly around… should I ummm run or something? Uhhh…”
First impression of the situation: ffffuuuuuuu!
Quick decision: Just start grabbin’ shit and throwin’ in all in the bucket! Bees, twigs, thorns… FUCK!
Somehow I scooped up the blob and shoved it in the bucket. Lid on. I can feel the angry bees pushing the top off. I can’t remove my hands. “TAPE NOW PLEASE TAPE!” Secure the top. Bees are escaping from the sides. “MORE TAPE NOW PLEASE!” Tape around the lid and make a seal. “MORE TAPE!” Tape the crap outta the bucket!
Receive 12 home-layed organic free range eggs from two happy customers of Katie’s “Free Friendly Bee Swarm Removal!
What. A. Night.
I went to visit the bees in the bucket the next day.
Well, allz I could say was… good luck with them Mike! Have fun putting them in your little hive! Glad I’m not the one who gets to open that bucket! HEAA!
Also, two new updates that day from Birdhouse
LEGIT. BEES IN ACTION. DOIN THERE THING.