As I left you, we were in the garage taking a break. We had shared our story with the Man in Charge, and had laughed ourselves silly. We really just wanted to go to bed and pretend we were not bee keepers.
Surely, in the night, a fairy would come and make it all disappear.
Then, we would just go back to buying local honey from bee keepers like the rest of the world. No harm. No foul. It would be like it never existed!
Not a chance!
I did take a moment to zip my hood onto my bee suit. Leaving the hat and veil I had been using behind. One suit. One piece. Much better plan.
With the trailer loaded down with hives, we drove down the road to out new bee yard. All we had to do was unload the bees. The blocks we use for our hives to sit on were already in place. Did I mention it was close to midnight? Did I mention it was completely dark? The new bee yard sits along a fence line in a huge pasture. I did not consider how hard it would be to find in the dark. We have access on a gravel road, but have to take a turn and drive through the grass a good distance to reach the fence. The panels we use are a dark gray color. Impossible to see in the dark.
We couldn't find the darn thing!
We stopped on the road and dug the spotlight out from under the back seat.
I have a spotlight in my truck.
You never know when you'll need one.
This monster light plugs into the cigarette lighter. After wrestling it up to the front, my Full-Timer plugged it in. Clicked on the switch, and nothing. Ugh! Why things can't be simple, I do not know! I couldn't tell you the last time we even used the thing. We messed with it for a few minutes. Then in frustration, unplugged it and threw it in the back seat. I just turned off the road and made my way in the dark. Not sure how, but we finally found our spot. We pulled up along side the panels, and jumped out.
There were some bees on the outside of our hive boxes, but they were just the hangers' on. We thought loading bees had been fun. Unloading bees proved just as hard. We had everything strapped down pretty tight. So, the first order of business was to loosen all the tie-down straps. Tie down straps have never been my friend. Men that make using them look easy are annoying. They are not easy. After fiddling with them for an eternity, we were able to start moving the hives.
The first hive we picked up was a big one. It was two boxes high, and it was full of bees, brood, and honey. We managed to get it off the trailer, and this time we were walking on either side carrying it forward. We made it to the entrance of the bee yard and I stepped right smack in the middle of a fresh pile of cow poop! My foot slid, and as I thought I might be going down, panic set in. I was able to recover just short of the splits! My Full-Timer, not sure what was happening, just held on to her side. I can not fully convey this moment. It was hilarious. It was scary. It was awkward. It was painful. It was frustrating. It was a lot of things, and it was followed by a string of curse words aimed at the cow that had come along and left me this surprise!
Remember what I said about cows?
They have to come check out what's new!
I did not consider they would leave a few new things of their own!
Getting my feet back under me, we were able to place the hive in its proper location. Then, we repeated the above process, minus the near fatal catastrophe, five more times. Six splits down. Four to go. The rest of the splits were back at the house, and were being transported back out to our original bee yard, where the fun had all started.
Arriving back at the house, the fatigue was starting to set in. We had worked feverishly to build our equipment. We had lost a lot of sleep during the process. Plus, we may have killed a few brain cells huffing paint fumes in the garage. We had split our hives in the heat and exhausted our mental capacity even further. It was well after midnight. Frustrated and tired, we started arguing. I don't remember all the details, but it was over blocks needed to place our hives on.
How many blocks were in the truck?
How many blocks were at the old bee yard?
How many blocks did we need from the house?
Whatever the details were, my Full-Timer kept insisting we needed three sets of blocks. I did not argue this point. We did need three sets of blocks. The argument came when we discussed how many sets were in the old bee yard, how many were in the truck, and how many we needed to grab from the house!
Now, she is a smart girl. She is crazy good at math. She placed in the top ten all through school in state math competitions.
Top Ten in the STATE!
She had just graduated with a masters in accounting. She can do crazy math - IN HER HEAD! She could not do this math. We had one set already out there. We had two sets in the truck. We needed to pick up one set. This would give us three sets to haul out there. One set there. Four sets to place our four splits we were moving. She kept insisting we needed to pick up two more sets. We argued.
You should know when we argue, at times, the volume continues to elevate. She stated her point. I stated my point louder. She re-stated her point even louder. I ran through the details even louder. She said, "oh." Before we could get into the driveway, she started in again. She wasn't giving it up. She couldn't account for all the blocks. She kept insisting. I kept insisting. Again, she said, "oh." After about the third time she started on me, I slammed on the breaks, and in full bee gear, turned and screamed the locations of all the blocks! What we had. What we needed. Where they were. What we had to grab. I finished very loudly with,
"I don't want to hear another thing about the damn blocks!"
She cracked up laughing.
After recovering from her blonde moment, she looked at me and said,
"You know, of all the people in this family, we fight really well together."
We both cracked up. She has a point. We agreed we both fight passionately for our points of view, and then, when one of us is finally proven wrong, we just laugh and move on. No hurt feelings. We can laugh freely at each other and ourselves. Pulling into the drive, she jumped out to get the gate into the pasture, and looked back at me and said,
"You know, we should have a reality show. No one has any idea how hard or how funny this is."
This night is still not over.
There is still more to come.
Catch back up with me soon.
(So, you see Miss Alanna, your comment on the previous post was right on the mark!)