So last Friday, after the work day had mercifully drawn to a close and after I had finally made it to the homestead, The Beekeeper and The Farmhand, started off to check on the beehive we harvested honey from last week. They wanted to make sure everything was is order and nothing unusual had occurred. But on their way, they stopped at a Swarm Trap we have left rather abandoned in one of the trees in our front yard.
The plan was to clean it up and set some fresh lure in the hopes of attracting a hive some time in the future.
The Rat Snake In the Beehive
As they checked on the box, our Farmhand noticed something unusual. When they lifted up the box, they could see a tightly coiled Yellow Rat Snake, or ‘Chicken Snake’, hiding between the frames.
Young Rat snakes feed mostly on lizards and frogs and eventually graduate to rodents and birds. They are quite useful in keeping the rat and mice populations under control and the Black ones are even known to eat other, poisonous, snakes.
These Yellow Rat Snakes are not poisonous and, as long as they stay out of the chicken coop, are welcome to be around.
Since Rat Snakes are arboreal and prefer to be in the trees, our Farmhand let her go in this tumbleweed of branches we call a hedge.
Madame Vastra slid happily away as fast as she could and that was when we saw it.
The Bee Swarm in The Tree
A nearby beehive, had swarmed and the Swarm had stopped, just a few branches over from where we released the rat snake, as if leading us to them. We have yet to confirm if it was one of our swarms or a wild swarm from the area.
Of course, we took advantage of the teaching opportunity.
Little known fact: When Bees Swarm they rarely sting as they are occupied protecting the Queen Bee and have no honey to protect.
Then the guys got suited up for the task of relocating the Swarm into an awaiting Hive.
Once they began working, the swarm began buzzing.
They made easy work of it and effectively relocated the swarm into the hive and all that is left is waiting to see if they take to it.
Keep your fingers crossed!
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