Bees are down!!

Thursday night I went up to water the garden. As I was pulling up I saw this:

What you are looking at are 4 upside down hives. I grabbed my phone and texted Chris:

“Get here now. In your truck. BEES DOWN!”

Not five minutes later he was up at the garden, in his sleep shorts (and me in my sandals) getting the smoker going. We opted to wear our full bee jackets, instead of just the veils as we usually do. We figured the bees were probably going to be upset about having their homes violently turned upside down. Good call on our part.

It took us about 30 minutes, and ten stings, two on my feet alone which is a very unpleasant place to be stung. The rest were for Chris though. Several on his hands, which caused his hands to swell for the next day or two.

All of the hives still had bees in them. We were able to fix the cause of the problem and put all the hives back in place. We are waiting a week to look in them to make sure the queens survived, but we have high hopes. I think we caught it pretty early too.

So what happened? This is a fairly new hive stand and hadn’t been properly weight tested. As the hives got heavier the front bar sunk into the ground. Once it had sunk enough the hives slid right off. We didn’t have our sledge hammer with us, so instead of driving the back poles farther into the ground we moved the bar lower. It is now Monday and they are still holding on strong!

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