|Nope! Nope! Nope!|
A few weeks ago I went to the farm where we first started our apiary and collected all of my old hives.
The mason blocks I originally used had, for the most part, turned to rubble. This left many of the hives laying in the mud, accelerating their deterioration.
However some of the hives seemed to be frozen in time like the remnants of an ancient civilization. And like the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, what caused the exodus of my bees can only be speculated about.
With each hive I gathered, my spirit fell a little lower as I began to fully realize how many of my original 100 supers had been lost to rot. Even now, I feel a little sad at the thought.
As I gathered box after box, my thoughts jumped from the cost of repairs to the hours it would take to rebuild the supers. Yet, my thoughts were instantly brought into the moment when I lifted the lid of one of my hives only to find a big ass Nope Snake — to be honest, I may have peed a little.
I immediately jumped back, keeping the lid between myself and what was obviously an Anaconda! Now I don’t have a phobia of snakes. I just really hate them. It’s not that I am scared of them, it is simply the fact that I have the reflex time of a sloth in oatmeal. If a snake were to feel inclined to bite me, my only quick muscle reaction would be in the form of my bowel movement.
My wife was driving the truck along the route as I loaded the trailer with the old supers but I decided not to alarm her until all of the work was done — no need to worry her. I took a few pictures from a distance and then gathered the rest of the hives.
When I had gathered all of the other equipment, I went back to deal with the snake. That was when I figured out that the only thing worse than finding a snake in your hive is not being able to find it a few minutes later! I didn’t spend much time looking for him. No… that is not correct… I didn’t spend much time looking for him around that hive. I did however, fervently search for the Nope Snake all the way back to my truck! The hive is still out there — I mean what’s one super worth anyway?
Nonetheless, the Nope Snake is not the only horror in the attached photo. If you will look between the tan box and the white box, you will notice a sprig of poison ivy. The two weeks that followed this picture I was covered up to my elbows and knees with raspberry colored whelps that itched like fiberglass and alcohol soup.
I love beekeeping but I’m not sure how much more nature I can handle!
p.s. I looked it up and the Nope Snake is technically called a Speckled Kingsnake. While I don’t have an unhealthy fear of snakes, I must say that just looking at the Google photos of Mississippi snakes gave me a shimmy!