It is a sweet day when beekeeping errors can be transformed into oral ecstasy. Chewy, squeaky, drippy, hint-of-meadowfoam oral ecstasy.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Beeman moved his hives to a new location near the McDonald-Dunn Forest. I have a little hive there, too.
...but today they were acting weird. Loitering, even. And there were drones emerging, too.
Then they started pouring out of the hive like liquid, with the most incredible sound you can imagine.
Once in the air they appeared very disorganized. But be patient...
Bees have perfected the art of organized chaos. Eventually a pattern to their movements became evident and I was able to determine which tree they had chosen.
Maybe four or five minutes later, and the entrance is back to normal. Minus a few thousand bees of course. And the queen.
They chose a tree not fifteen feet from their original hive. Just for fun, I wanted to capture Beeman's colony and put it in my own hive. That is way too high though.
So here they rest, clustered tightly around a branch, protecting the queen and weighing their options. To a beekeeper swarms can be a frustration and represent a loss of hive productivity and honey-making potential.
But in terms of the bees it is colony-level reproduction and a sort of cleansing ritual for the hive. I have observed many swarms in flight, but I am still blown away that I was able to see this one come to life.