|Mom's back yard|
Less than two months ago, my mom hadn't given a thought to bees. Now she called to say she caught a second swarm. "It's so hot here, over ninety degrees every day," she said. "They must want to come inside and cool off. There's a lot of them this time, too."
|Are we here yet?|
Our store-bought bee colonies are growing, even in this weather, but the swarm hives are barely hanging on.
The Alameda girls were the weakest, so why not give them a transfer to bee heaven?
When we drove down to check out my mom's new swarm, we brought them along. They were very quiet in the car, very good little travelers, unlike the PGE girls who seemed to power the car with their humming. With them, every bump in the road seemed to piss them off.
|Charlie stealing a frame of Saratoga babies|
|The second Saratoga swarm|
My mom's original swarm was doing so well, in particular, that Charlie took a frame of brood and gave it to the Alameda girls. We considered it a little gift to help them grow, even though they were already more active in this one afternoon than they had been all the previous week, thanks to good weather.
|Healthy Saratoga bees|
So that they wouldn't get annoyed and want to leave, Charlie stole a second brood frame from the original Saratoga girls and left it, along with some empty frames, in the hive trap for the new swarm. No matter how bothered the new swarm was, they wouldn't just up and abandon a frame full of babies. We're hard-wired, we women, to take care of babies, even if they're not "ours."
Unlike last time, my mom didn't call after we left with questions like, "Why are the bees clustered in a box under their new box?"
We're learning, or, more likely, we're lucky.