Friday, September 30, 2011


In order to have an abundant cherry crop, it is necessary to have large numbers of bees for pollination. The man we purchased the ranch from gave us all his bee equipment and his live bees. So Mike read everything he could get his hands on that dealt with maintaining hives, and he cared for about 15 of them.

When it came time for us to collect the honey, we put the combs into a stainless steel centrifuge honey remover, placing it on the kitchen table. Suddenly we became aware that there were bees everywhere, finding every nook and cranny, coming in to claim their honey. They were finding ways to get in the house that defied logic. Their numbers were increasing rapidly, and it became impossible to work around them. We finally gave up and took the rest of the combs back to the hives.

Sometimes a queen goes bad, and the entire hive follows suit.   Mike was working the hives, fully covered in his bee suit,
 when he opened one that turned out to be angry.   The bees swarmed on him, getting inside his bee suit, and stinging him.   He was close to his shop, so he ran in there because bees don't like a dark confined space, and had our son turn the blow torch on him, rapidly killing many of the bees. He ended up with about 75 stings and a new found dislike for the taste of honey. After that, he sold his bees.

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