My bee guru, Don from Cheadle (I keep wanting to call him Don Cheadle but that's somebody else) came to help me move the bees into their WBC hives, and out of the temporary hives I used to fetch them in the first place. I told the kids to stay in the house and said I'd come back in soon. Don and I started transferring the bees over and they seemed very active, more active than they had been when we moved them from Ally's place a fortnight ago.
Then I heard a scream from next door "Aaargh! No! Get off me!", and the yelping of a dog. Oh s**t. Sounds like the neighbour has been stung, and his dog too. Bad news. Then I heard a shout from another neighbour further up the street "Mel! Would you pick up the postman's mail? He dropped it when he got stung". Then that neighbour got stung, too. Then the neighbour with the dog came out again, and got stung again. I ended up standing in the street waving to passing cars and signalling them not to stop, get out, or open their windows. It's amazing how ready people are to take instructions like that from someone in a bee suit covered in bees. One of the cars went right to the end of the cul-de-sac and collected the postman, then drove him back to his van at the other end of the road. We didn't get any mail today.
Don and I finished the job, and walked into the back garden, but angry bees followed us. It was like a Tom and Jerry cartoon with bloodthirsty bees bent on revenge following us in a big angry cloud. Don the bee guru kept saying "They'll go back in the hive soon", but when we'd been waiting for an hour and a half I'd had enough. I was thinking that what we really needed was a heavy downpour to drive the bees back into the hive, but wouldn't you know, this was the first day in three months where it hasn't rained all day.
But wait! I can make it rain! I have a lawn sprinkler! So I pulled out the lawn sprinkler and turned it on. It worked like a charm. The bees left us, Don was able to get back in his car and I was able to go back in the house and have a stiff drink.
I went out later and bought the neighbours a huge bunch of flowers and a tin of luxury dog food for the poor dog. I took it round and grovelled abjectly. I think they'll forgive me eventually. I spent the rest of the day on the phone to various people from my local beekeeping association. Someone is coming round in the morning with a view to moving the bees to an emergency temporary apiary, and then I'll have to arrange an out-apiary - a place well away from habitation but where I can still access my bees.
I'm not getting rid of the bees, but I'm moving them well away from the house, and from our street.