I woke up late and fairly tired yesterday morning. The previous night I moved the back hive to my parents place. In many ways it was a triumph as no bees died in this move (which means by default I didn’t get stung). I am getting the structure of the hives down pat and managing the bees is becoming easier in some ways.
On the other hand the movement of the bees is a complete disaster. We had a complaint late last Sunday that our bees where attacking our back neighbour. Threats ensued of calls to the council and pest exterminators so we made a decision even though we are flat out and it is five our round trip to get them out of Dodge City for a while.
From what we can tell the neighbours had a swarm in their compost. Dug up the compost got stung looked over the fence and saw the hive which has been there for three years with different bees in it. Freaked out and became very, very, very irrational about it. (Quite scarily irrational to be honest) and started yelling and screaming.
It is a great shame as this is a very urban friendly hive. If they had one fault they were so indifferent to humans that they would fly near them and not flee. This lead people to believe they were being attacked, swatting them and getting stung.
Our 5 year old is devastated, my wife is devastated and I am far from happy. This is a swarm we got as a fist of bees and just filled the hive to the point we needed a new box on top.
So the last two mornings I went up to open up the chicken run and went past the location where the hive used to be, had a quick look to check if any had been left behind (nope all clear) and noted the absence of them in the flowering kale, again I noted it in the lavender out front. Thursday in far less sunny and warm day the back yard and front yard hummed with bees.
And today? Silence.
The neighbour’s husband while I was talking to him was raving at his almond tree and the productivity of his vegetables last year. Well not now. And this is the big debate that needs to be had in a culture where a person get to reach into another’s back yard and be irrational about something well with that comes a responsibility.
The person in question invoked the ‘I am worried for my children’ comment for her own fears. Well I am worried for my kids future but not because of a few bees which they know about but because this very same rational if taken to its extreme (and that is something humans are good at) will lead to my children having a poorer future.
‘I will get arguments about well as a community we all need to respect each other’s views’. Having grown up in a small community YES you do and they will not be your views so you need to suck it up and move on! A community of like minded souls is not a community it is somewhere between a cult and self-validating support group.
A. ss annoyed as a scientist she wants a rational conversation with people and that is simply not happening with people these days. It is not just the urban folks it is also parts of the alternative community and permies. The bigger picture is hidden as everyone want their ‘personal rights’ to supersede everything. Everyone is getting into their own bunkers and not even bothering to look at empirical evidence or each other’s views.
On the upside there a small number of feral bees around and at some point we will likely move the bees back and put them in a private location where people cannot just look over the back fence (mind your own business people) and away from this neighbour. We will be quiet about it and work on our desire to get people to realise the value of these beautiful creatures in a way that allows us not be target by this type of person.
It is the old flying under the radar vs. getting things done argument and on this occasion low flying looks like the option.
I still cannot shudder at a world that our children seem to be destined to inherit!
Enough for one day I have swarm trap to setup in the hidden corner of the chicken run !