But before we got THAT swarm call, we received another swarm call. We excitedly raced to the given address with the jotted-down details: a small swarm, in a small handmade birdhouse nestled in a garden, at the home of a retired widow (the gardener had been stung that morning and she wanted the bees to be taken away).
We came to a stop in front of the house and met the gardener, who gave us the same details. We walked over to the garden and discovered... bumblebees, not honey bees! About 2 dozen VERY ANGRY and stinging bumblebees were entering and exiting the dearest little birdhouse, created by the widow's late husband. Our guild normally does not remove bumblebees, but my husband and I could see that the homeowner was anxious to have them removed, and we were already landlords to LOTS of bumblebees at home in our vitex tree and around our garden. We smiled at each other, knowing we could help, and removed the bumbles, birdhouse and all, and promised to return that dear birdhouse to the homeowner as a keepsake from her late husband.
Now what? Well, we brought the birdhouse full of bumblebees home and set it up in the bee-and-butterfly bed at Flannel Jammies Farm, just under the blooming vitex tree. The inhabitants happily played with the new neighbors, buzzing from bloom to bloom. Until yesterday.
It was time to move them to their new home, an old and crazy-looking birdhouse we had in our shed that we'd install exactly where the previous one had been planted.
BUT... we knew these bumblebees were still peeved (I'd been shooed away earlier in the day while picking blueberries!)... we knew they'd built quite a tight little nest inside the tiny birdhouse... and we knew that the birdhouse was a particular treasure of that sweet widow and it had to be returned to her unharmed...
The hubs and I donned our bee suits, lit the smoker (repeatedly and used it way more than needed), gathered our tools, and headed out to become laborers for the Bumblebee Moving Company. Here's a semi-long (9 minutes) and maybe a little slow-moving (tedious work, this) video of what ensued, just in case you're curious about what a bumblebee house move would look like!
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves,
you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.