I had been sweeping the kitchen floor when Davey called urgently through the door, “Jen! The bees swarmed again! I need help!” I ran out the door, broom in one hand, dustpan in the other, to see what I could do. (Take photos, obviously, although I did get a little bit of smoker duty, too.) I put down the broom on the porch when I put on my boots, and it was found shortly thereafter easily enought, but I held onto that dustpan much longer. Two days later, the children were still looking for it. “Oh,” I said, “I left it on the picnic table. I had it my hand when the bees swarmed, and then, as I was walking from the garage toward the bees, I was thinking, ‘This dustpan is yellow. It might attract the attention of the bees, and I do not want to be chased by a swarm of bees.’ So I put it down on the table.” Davey looked at me like I was crazy. None of the bees, at any time, chase people because they are yellow, or any other color. “I know it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what I was thinking, and that’s why the dustpan is in the middle of the front yard.”
While I was carrying the dustpan around, I also came back into the house for a bee book. After all, we’d already caught this swarm yesterday, and since they’d swarmed again, we’d obviously done something wrong. If we’d done something wrong, we obviously needed some professional advice, and so, the book. (Anna Comstock – great book.) Delaney laughed when she saw me carrying the book (but not the dustpan) back to house when we were done. “What were you doing, reading out of the book while you caught the bees?”
“Why, yes, that’s exactly what I was doing,” I said with surprise. “How else were we supposed to do it?” So, yes, I read aloud while Davey followed the advice about second-swarmers, refurnishing their hive with frames from the old one to encourage their interest. And I read aloud about cutting the whole branch out of the tree and thumping them into the hive box (but not the part about the white sheet under the hive, because it seemed unnecessary) and Davey did just as the book said.
As Davey says, If it’s stupid and it works, it ain’t stupid.