Remind me not to complain about slugs.
Last night at 3:30 am, I awoke to the sounds of munching, snuffling, and the clatter of wooden boxes being destroyed beneath our bedroom window.
I knew at once there was a BEAR IN THE BEE HIVES!
When I yelled “BEAR!!!!!” in Jim’s ear, he too leaped up and joined me to race downstairs, bang on windows, flick on every light, then tumbled out into the night.
Only to find we were too late to stop most of the damage.
What a mess! Frames were ripped, torn, and scattered all over the yard. Bees covered the ground where the hives had been and whirled in the air above their wrecked homes.
As we surveyed this scene of bee carnage with flashlights, we heard more snuffling.
Abruptly, a young brown bear climbed down out of the oak tree just twenty feet from where we stood. He blinked at us, then ambled off into the woods, but not before pausing to sit back on his heels with a look that said, ” HONEY, HONEY, HONEY.”
Quickly, I donned one of our bee suits and tried my best to reassemble the three hives. I was the better choice for the job than Jim, who reacts more to bee stings than I do. Because understandably, the bees were MAD and wanted to sting me any way they could.
And they sure could! They stung me right through the bee suit and especially on my ankles which were bare because I had pulled on my old hiking boots, instead of the more protective mud boots. Soon my ankles were so covered in stinging bees that I yelped at Jim to go find me some BOOOOOOOOTS!.
Better garbed, I went back at it.
One hive was so heavy with honey, it took every bit of my strength to get it back onto its platform. Somehow its two hive boxes had not fallen apart when the bear pulled it over and this saved it from the kind of damage the other hives suffered.
As I jammed plopped frames back into hive boxes and reassembled the hives as best I could, I hoped each of the three queens had somehow survived the raid and would live to keep their colonies together.
When everything was assembled as best I could manage, we went back to bed to stew about how we would protect the bees from another raid tomorrow night
we heard chomping again. THE BEAR WAS BACK and settled in for another serious meal next to a hive he had just destroyed AGAIN.
And this time, he would not leave. We yelled. We threw my hiking boots. We banged on windows. Finally, Jim went onto the roof above the hives and threw rocks at the bear until he took off with a new look that said, ” I’LL BE BACK.” I swear I could almost hear the Arnold Schwartzeneggar accent.
So Jim and I sat up ’til dawn, watching the hives and pondering our next move. Tonight we think we are going to try to build a natural barricade of wild rose canes. That should be fun.
So thank you Greg, for the tried and true caramel apple recipe! I need a sugar high as badly as the bear, especially if I am going to have to build a barricade of rose canes then spend the night in banshee bear yelling!