Wash, rinse, repeat

Two Sunday’s ago, I walked out of the barn and saw a swarm of bees. Jennifer, our beekeeper was over here in minutes and other than a bit of adventure with someone afraid of heights going up in the bucket of a tractor, it was a non-event. Kinda neat but nothing dramatic.

The following week, Spork and I drove to Florida to attend Sun N Fun. A first for both of us.

Spork watching the Blue Angels perform their awesome show.
Spork watching the Blue Angels perform their awesome show.

We had a rather large time. Partly because it was a chance to see airplanes like the above. Partly because we could talk to airline recruiters, aviation college recruiters, and even military recruiters.

Spork wearing an F16 flight helmet while talking to the Air Force Viper demonstration team
Spork wearing an F16 flight helmet while talking to the Air Force Viper demonstration team

Spork says he wants to fly for a living. Or maybe do aerospace engineering.

Spork sitting in a Carbon Cub
Spork sitting in a Carbon Cub

Whatever it is, as long as it involves airplanes and pays well enough to make a living.

But the joy of this trip wasn’t that it was airplanes, it’s that it was a boys trip.

Spork with a booth babe
No not like this kind of boys trip

He and I hopped in the car and drove to Lakeland, FL. It took 12 hours down, and 9 hours back. We shared a room together while we were there. We ate together. We went to the show together. It was a lot of time to spend together and a lot of time with no women. When you are the only other boy in the house, that’s a big deal.

So what does this have to do with bees?

Note the 3 hour difference between our Southbound trip and our return trip. We pushed straight through to get home, barely stopping. Upon arrival I pulled up to the barn to grab the mail my neighbor had put in my office for me (Thanks Dustin!). Mail in hand I headed straight back out to the car to go to the house and actually arrive home. As I looked out, I saw a swarm just getting going in the bee yard.

Sigh. Really, this is happening now?

I told Spork to watch the swarm (we’d just done this the previous Sunday, he’s an expert now) and texted Jennifer, our beekeeper. Then I went to get the bucket truck and my bee gear. The swarm, having no originality, proceeded to work its way over to the same exact tree as the last swarm and landed on nearly the same branch. It really was wash, rinse, repeat.

The swarm, just settled onto the branch
The swarm, just settled onto the branch

Ever wondered what a swarm actually looks like up close? Your intrepid farmer found out for you.

Betsy checking out the bucket truck
Betsy checking out the weird addition to her pasture

Once Jennifer arrived, we suited up and went about capturing the swarm. With the bucket truck and the bees perfect location, it was easy.

It seems scary to be in the air, and dumping 3 pounds of live bees in your lap but it’s actually not too bad. (Says the guy who was standing on the ground filming)

Back on the ground with bees in the box
Back on the ground with bees in the box

It’s funny to me that there is so much specialized gear for beekeeping, but when it comes to capturing a swarm, we use an old bankers box I had hanging around.

Once the bees were on the ground and in the box, it was time to transfer them to their new temporary home.

Now that we had them safely in their new home we could call this a day. Congratulations were passed around, equipment put away and we all returned to our regularly scheduled Sunday which for Spork and me it meant finally arriving home to see the girls and to start cleaning out the car.

It was a long day but it was great. A safe trip home from a fun trip with the boy, and a new hive of bees to add to our apiary. Once again thanks to Jennifer from Buck Naked Farm for being so responsive and fun to work with.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

One Reply to “Wash, rinse, repeat”

  1. I have talked with the girls who now promise to schedule their swarming with us in advance. Of course, they could just stay in the box and make honey. But where is the fun in that? PS. I stole the bakers box but will return it. It’s quite handy.

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