I had done a couple splits a few days earlier. It was time to check on the new queens and see how they were getting along with their new citizenry.
It was early afternoon, and a wonderfully beautiful, sunny and very warm day for late April, 2009. The thermometer on the wall said 89 degrees. The bees must be loving it!
Being of a certain age and a certain mental disposition, my mind tends to wAnder and wOnder about lots of things. This was one of those occasions. It happens a lot when I visit with my bees. Maybe its because, as my daughter would say, I'm in a happy place. On this occasion, of all things, I recalled a concert I went to a long time ago, on a sunny day just like this, way back in the 70's. Starland Vocal Band opened for Elton John. Their big hit was "Afternoon Delight" - perfect name for what I was doing.
I had all my "bee gear" on. As I walked to the beehives in the meadow next to the house, I spotted something unusual hanging from a pine tree straight ahead.
Could it be? YES! It was a swarm! First one I've seen since I was maybe 12. This time I didn't run... I knew better... and my adrenalin was pumping. Could I actually capture the swarm? What did I need to do first? Did I have a box ready? How about a camera? (silly what runs through my mind sometimes!).
I had to get closer to take a better look. I was maybe 10 feet away... and all of a sudden the world was a-buzz. The swarm, a nicely shaped football sized object seemed to suddenly just break apart into thousands of buzzing dots that quickly took off to who knows where. I was too late! Darn it! Why did they have to fly off just then?
I looked down, and, suddenly I knew why the swarm left when it did.
What an idiot!
In my right hand - what did I see? MY SMOKER! going full blast!. Aaaarrrggghhhhhh... !