Worst day beekeeping ever!
Went to pick up some beehives that I keep at a nearby farm this morning. My lighter ran out of fuel and all I had was a book of paper matches that had been in my gear box for a couple of years and were really degraded. Couldn't hardly get any of them to light, but finally got the smoker somewhat lit. I puffed 3 hives at the entrance and the smoker went out.
I started disassembling the hives one at a time and stacking them in the back of the my truck. The bees were pretty pissed because I couldn't smoke them after removing each box. A had a couple of matches left and managed to get the smoker going again, but barely. I had the bright idea to blow into the smoker to get it going better. I got it going somewhat again and a flame jumped up and burned a hole about an inch in diameter in my veil. So I spent a half hour trying to peel duct tape off of a roll with one gloved hand (a near impossible task) while using the other hand to cover the hole so the bees wouldn't get in. I finally got the job done and finished stacking the hives and strapping them down. The smoker seemed dead and I lost my cork to plug it up, so I just hung it in an empty super.
Driving back very slowly on a bumpy gravel road I passed a guy going for a walk on the side of the road. He waved at me and I returned the gesture. After a got a few feet past him, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him flailing around. Some of the loose bees in the back of the truck had gone after him. I couldn't stop because more bees would have got him, so I drove another 50 feet or so, stopped the truck, got out, and ran back to the guy. He was pretty upset about having been attacked by bees on his morning walk. I apologized profusely and he calmed down. I got his number and promised to give him a gallon of honey next week.
Driving further down the road a came across another person mowing the ditch in front of his house. I was like holy shit, not another potential victim. I stopped way before his house and waited until he was done with the ditch and headed to back yard. I hit the gas and got past him as fast as I could.
Finally got back home and I parked my truck in the backyard next to some other hives that I have. I left my truck there and made a mad dash for the house. I figured I would leave the hives in the back of the truck for awhile so they could calm down before moving them out of the truck and into their new locations.
Safe in the house, I told my wife that I needed to lie down for a bit to cool off and rest. 30 minutes later she woke me up telling me the something was burning in the back of the truck. I looked out the window and saw a huge amount of smoke pouring out of the bed. I grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran back there to put it out. Luckily it was just the smoker. The wind from driving down the road without a plug in the spout had rekindled the smoker. I have NEVER seen a smoker make that much smoke! The super that it was hanging on was a little blackened and there was a nice round hole in the bed lining were the plastic had melted. The good thing was that the bees were chill because of all the smoke, so I strolled back to the house with only a couple of bees pinging me in the head.
Sitting here now drinking a cold beer and getting the strength back to go back out and unload the hives.