The news: There is now one hive of beeutiful, Italian honeybees (apis mellifera) on the roof of the SIS building! The queen was alive and happy, as was the rest of the colony. The installation went off without a hitch or a sting.
The funny story: Eagerly, we milled about awaiting their arrival. A professor, a dean, an assistant dean, a campus sustainability director, an assistant-sustainability person, PhD students, a security guard, and a few curious onlookers milled about in the SIS lobby. “Where’s the Queen? When will she come?” Dean Goodman asked.
First slated for 5:00, the clock ticked on to 5:30, then 6:00. By 6:30 we were feeling beemused about the situation. Our delivery man lost cell phone battery that day, so we did a few bee dances and sent up smoke signals to let him know we were waiting. Well, we considered it.
Turns out the colony was bee-napped!
Yes, bee-napped! The 3-lb package of bees was sent from Rossmann Apiary in Georgia. Shipped via USPS (ground delivery), they arrived to the post office. When they arrived, the postal workers were kind enough to call and tell us to pick them up. Turns out, another beekeeper in the DC area also got a call yesterday from a post office, telling them to come by and pick up their bees. That beekeeper sent his wife, who came by the our post office instead of his, and picked up our box! The post office hadn’t checked her ID (nor confirmed that the size of our box was double the size of her box). What are the chances that multiple customers in a day arrive to pick up the bees?
When the StingOperation folks got to the post office only a little while later, the box was gone! A bee-chase ensued.
Eventually our SIS bees were found by StingOperation‘s excellent trackers, Chelsie and Vincent. Arriving late, but with our beetrothed colony in hand, we all breathed a sigh of relief to see our Queen arrive with her posse.
Now that they’re here: Name suggestions, anyone?