This Bee Swarm Saga is, as some short stories are, rather long. If you want to skip to the lessons learned, go ahead to the bulleted items at the end. If, however, you want to grab a beverage of choice and hear a true tale of 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, then this is the story for you.
Early Spring Blooms to Welcome the Bees
Do you keep a record of what is bloom throughout the year? Since we started providing homes for 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.
It seems many of the first to bloom are some of our natives. Perhaps it is Nature’s way of taking care of her own.
What Worked – or NOT – in the 2013 Garden
It’s Garden Planning Season, and you know what THAT means: deep introspection to determine what worked and what didn’t, because unless you incorporate what you’ve learned into this year’s garden, you will be going forth with an impending sense of doom….
The winter is not that dark. Seriously. Lighten up already!
Let’s Do a Bee Walk
Bee Walk? What does that mean? I mean, bees don’t walk much. Some say they “march,” as in marching up into the hive. But they don’t really march, either. Rather, they follow, which is interesting, considering they have the option of flying.
A Bee Walk sounds like a Moon Walk, Michael Jackson style, with a slight buzz. Hmmm. I like that idea.
So I was kind of doing some creative moves in the Willow Room when my friend, Sid Anna, who runs Annie’s Flower Farm, called to ask me if I would like to do a “Bee Walk” through her gardens.
What’s to Eat?
“What’s to eat?”
It’s a phrase that brings me back to when my teenage kids would hang for long periods on the open door of the refrigerator
As we approach late summer, I, too, have to ask, “What is there to eat – for the bees?” (And for that matter, what’s to DRINK? Are their water sources still available?)
A Gentle Way to Install a Swarm
Round 3 – or is it 4…
It was Mother’s Day. We were headed to our son’s house for a celebratory feast for a room full of mothers. As the matriarch of the group, or at least, the oldest, I had made a kick-A potato salad of grand proportions. I was considering a rhubarb-cooler-sort-of-drink and headed out to the garden to pick some stalks, when I couldn’t help but notice a LOUD buzzing. The air sure was full of a lot of bees! They were flying every which way. And I thought, Oh. My. Gosh. They are swarming AGAIN!
The Bee Saga Continues
…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?
Warre Beehive Update: Save the Queen!
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!
Warre Hives Set Up at Barbolian Fields
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!