Reverie - n. a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream or fantasy; a visionary or impractical idea

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.

The revery alone will do
If bees are few." - Emily Dickinson

Sunday, March 16, 2014

There Are Two Queens In My Hive

This weekend my bees discovered the joys of reading Dan Savage.  I can't argue with them, I love the guy too.  But let's back up a bit...

I recently acquired the space to start a new apiary in South Corvallis.  I moved two hives from other places here last week.  This is going to be an interesting place to have bees - they grow lots of chinese medicinal herbs here, in addition to blackberries, blueberries, and tons of vegetables.  

The bees in Green (H1) have been going nuts lately.  So much so that I needed to reduce their population in the feeble hope of reducing the likelihood of swarming.  

Look how covered this one is with pollen!  

I grabbed a variety of frames from Green and put them in a new box on top of Blue, which had a smaller population (and only two brood boxes).  When equalizing hives you try to transfer as many nurse bees as you can, spray them a bit with sugar syrup, and separate this box of strangers from their new colony with a layer of newspaper.  By the time they chew through the paper they should be fairly acclimated to the smells and order of their new hive.

Hence Mr. Savage is in my hive, probably having his face chewed on by hundreds of bees as we speak.  He has probably written about bee fetishes, don't you think?

Green and Blue have cute apiary buddies now, too...


  1. Beautiful photos (I love the sight of all that pollen on a bee's knee). Just a question: given the feebleness of your hope that removing some frames will reduce the likelihood of swarming, why do it?

  2. Hello! That pollen picture is fun, isn't it? It seems like a feeble attempt considering I only removed five frames from a bursting hive. A full box removed or a full split would probably address the problem more effectively. Our Corvallis bees are bursting at the seams coming out of this winter, so swarming will probably be an issue for a lot of us.

    1. Excessively healthy bees is a great problem to have, though :-)

  3. We have the same problem. We have one hive that is gangbusters and one that is weaker and is Queenless. We've been moving the fresh brood over to our weaker hive in hopes of raising a new queen. I love how your one photo has all the ladies with pollen on their legs! Nice shot!