This is a true tale of honeybee determination, courage, against-all-odds survival, instinct over reason, fate, and loyalty to the point of willing to give up one’s own life for the protection of one’s brethren. Also a few of my thoughts on bee intelligence.
Do you keep a record of what is bloom throughout the year? Since we started keeping bees, I have become much more aware of what is blooming when - particularly during those months on either end of the warm season, when the weather is unsettled and food for them can be scarce. Here is my current list.
Bees, bee plants, rainwater catchment, spiral gardens, scything, mulching, garlic, unusual fruits, perennial vegetables: here is what worked (or NOT) in our garden last year. Incorporating ideas for 2014….
The problem with getting a new camera for Christmas in 2012 was trying to sort through over 1000 garden photos! I see I am attracted to symmetry, contrast, and bees! Here are a few of my favorite shots, that STILL can't begin to capture the beauty and perfection of Mother Nature!
For Farm Tour Day, my friend, Sid, who runs Annie's Flower Farm, asked me to do a "Bee Walk." What is that? Something you make up as you go! We took a stroll through the gardens and kept a close eye out for honeybees, native pollinators, and even frogs. And why do some bees like some flowers and other pollinators prefer something different? And what can they tell us about how much we need one another?
Late summer can be a time of dearth, which can spell death for the bees. Most plants are producing fruit or seed. What is blooming now that provides nectar and pollen? And do your bees have access to water?
We were loading up a humongous potato salad for a Mother's Day feast when what's this? ANOTHER bee swarm! Our swarm boxes made this swarm catch & installation so incredibly easy and gentle. No chaotic frenzy! When it comes to bees, I like that!
…The bee saga continues…. Where did the swarm on the cedar go - in the bait box in the tree or in the hive on the ground?
And what's this? MORE excitement the morning after? Adventures in backyard beekeeping...
We noticed the little cedar tree over by the beehives looked a bit odd yesterday - and as we got closer, we realized, Holey Moley! a swarm of bees was almost completely covering it! Now for the hard part: how to persuade them to move into our hive!
A sunny day in early December and the bees are out! Hooray! And even more amazing - they are finding pollen! But where? Should I feed them? Are they ready for winter?
A heroic effort on my part, as well as by the bees. We all had the same mission, really, to Save the Queen - we just had slightly different approaches, being as I was perceived as a smoke-breathing giant intent on raiding their hive!
A video and some close-up pictures on the Warre hives we built. If you are looking for something simple, inexpensive, and something that naturally lets the bees do what they instinctively do - this is it!