Sunday, June 10, 2012

A New Blog

I've migrated my blog and all posts from this blog over to wordpress. You can find it here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Sunshine

Low 50s again today. Activity in all the hives! #1 hive is by far the busiest, (the one with the dark, small bees) and seems to have had the fewest dead bees on the bottom board screen and landing board. #2 is the quietest, and judging by the evidence on the bottom board, the colony is very small. #3 and #4 have had the highest number of dead bees at the entrance and on the bottom board screen.

I saw a few bees bringing in pollen today. I wonder what they are finding. My heather is starting to bloom, but that's not a honey bee on it. Don't know what that is, I'll have to look it up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January Snow

We had over a foot of snow. Life in all the hives as of a few weeks ago...

Monday, October 10, 2011

I pay a lot of attention to honeybees

by Gavin Layton on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:21am
I pay a lot of attention to honeybees these days.  They work, work, work: their lives regimented by their age and circumstances of birth. Then they die and are replaced by others.  But now and then I see a honeybee fooling around, doing nothing obviously useful, flouting the common perception of what bees do.  This summer a swarm of bees built a hive out in the open on the branch of a big fir tree. It thrived as the bees built 18” pendants of honeycomb. Then the weather turned. Wind buffeted the hive. Rain came and the temperature dropped. They have no protection out on that limb.  They're all dying now, falling one by one into a pile on the ground where yellow jackets hover and cruise, waiting.

I don’t know why, but they tried to do something different. I don’t know if it was courage or foolishness, and it doesn’t really matter. For a couple of months they had the most beautiful hive I’ve ever seen.  And they were going to die anyway.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A new race

The #1 hive (the 2011 spring split from the original 'The Others' hive) seems to have changed race. They are darker and smaller than my original Italians. They seem to be a little more ornery too. The hive has some that look like the original Italians too. In the photo you can see the top one has more orange and is larger than the others.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

High in the tree

The swarm hive is filling out. You can see the beautiful combs now. Maybe I should cut them down and hive them but I want to watch and see what happens.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

They didn't go far

My daughter was housesitting for me when I went on a week's vacation at the beginning of August. She saw that the bees were swarming but she could not tell which hive it was or see where they ended up heading. She looked for them in the trees later but did not spot the swarm. When I returned from vacation it had been a week and I was sure they were long gone. 3 weeks later Gavin and I were in the hammock under the big fir tree in my backyard, and I spotted insects flying around high in the tree. Sure enough there was the lost swarm. Already building comb right there on the branch of the tree. They were much too high up for any of my ladders to reach. We decided to let them be and watch them for a while to see what happens.