Our Plant Sale, a Bee Swarm and Bee Stings as Medicine
It was a great sales day on Saturday! Thanks to everyone for attending and thanks to Anna for making us wonderful bickies! The weather was perfect and we hope on similar plant sales in the future with tea and bickies.
Our bees thought that the plant sale would be a perfect occasion to swarm. They started on Friday and one thing is true: they did not behave like shown in youtube videos. First, when you want to catch a bee swarm what you need is a hive, ready to move in (of course we had to buy one last minute!), a cardboard box, a veil and a smoker.
Alain the beekeeper and youtube tell that you put the box under the branch were the bees are and give the branch a good shake and the bees fall into the box, but after that procedure, half of the bees were still hanging in the tree and we were not sure, in which part the queen was. It took another box and a cut off branch, just to be sure.
I understand why beekeepers used to smoke a pipe, you need two hands for the smoker, two hands for holding the box and one for shaking the branch.
The next step is to release the bees from the box in front of the hive. These bees liked the box more than the hive, but we were sure that the bees would move into their brand new home the next day. They didn't and after the yard sale the bees were gone!
Half an hour search and the bees were found. The only obstacle was that the branch on which they were hanging was arm thick - no shaking no cutting possible. Michal decided that he could brush them off into the box, but the bees didn't like that treatment very much, found some holes in his protective hat and started to attack his head and his chest. The girls without hat and veil were told to keep away, but the whole thing was far too exciting and theywere attacked had bees tangled in long hair, nearly impossible to remove.
This time we were more intelligent and removed the box and the only available house was the hive, which they took.
Take away message: next time we will probably wear hats without holes and something tight around the neck and it is a good idea to have an extra hive!
Bee stings are itchy and we googled for some herbal treatment. What we found was much better: a doctor who cures serious illnesses of his patients in Gaza with beestings! I find this amazing. First the incrediblie resilience of these people and second: this is a completely new (or maybe old?) branch of medicine! Here's the youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E0d6FmJmfM