Swarm Saga, Pt. 3 (A Forcible Reunion)

I was up at dawn the next morning to check on the progress of the two groups of bees. Needless to say, in spite of all my wishes, hopes, and dreamlets—the two contingents had not merrily reunited overnight, but remained in their separate spots: half the colony in the Brother Fax Box clinging to their severed branch, the other half in the Office Max (OM) box I'd designated as the bees' temporary hive until the real hive arrived from out west.We were getting nowhere fast. Having interrupted the bees' natural swarming process, I felt a responsibility to try and get everyone together in the OM box and put an end to this stalemate. The probability was that I'd failed to get the queen in the initial hiving and that, instead of residing the OM box, she was with the second part of the swarm, in the Brother box.

Determined to set things to right, as competent rural people say (or so I've read), I marched back to the shed, put on my beek suit, marched back to the bees, whispered a few niceties to them ("Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me."), opened the OM box, and, as gently and effectively as I possibly could, dumped the thoroughly unamused Brother box bees into the OM box. Then, my left leg shaking uncontrollably as before, I closed up the OM box, placed a tarp over the top, and stomped back to the shed. (I did all this without my swarm-catching partner Karen's able help, just to assure myself that I could do it. This was psychologically important, since Karen would be gone by the time the real hive arrived and I would be on my own for the final hiving process.)Once inside the shed, I could hear the buzz of several distraught bees clinging abjectly (so I thought) to the back of my bee suit. Feeling badly for all I'd put these brave bees through, I stepped outside and returned to the hive so the girls could rejoin their colony. Aside from guilt about repeatedly bothering the bees, I felt the colony needed every bee it could get. I slowly removed my veil, unzipped my suit, and began gingerly removing it so as not to jar the bees on my back.

One millisecond after my hood was off, one of the clinging bees zoomed around from behind with the speed, professionalism, and precision of a fighter pilot and stung me on the chin—nothing abject about it. It was kind of funny and I couldn't help but side with the bee; I so deserved that!

I was shaken, but felt that I'd now done everything I could to get the colony together, in one place, while we waited for the real hive body to arrive via US Mail. I began to pray to the US Postal Service as a drought-ravaged farmer prays for rain.

Unfortunately, the bees didn't seem too happy in the OM box. They hung out on the front of the box in mass quantities, and began to set up little clusters in the gaps between the tarp and the box, and under the box, and along the concrete blocks on which the box was positioned.
It was going to be Big Fun getting them all into the real hive once it finally arrived.

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