Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beeing Productive


The bees are busy and happy now that the weather has turned to sunshine. Washington hive is ready for me to add the honey super. The honey super is the layer that will contain the honey for harvest.

Ever since the rain stopped on Thursday, the bees have been working hard--flying out and coming back to the hive with their little pollen baskets full. The worker bees have a short lifespan so some of these workers have probably never gathered pollen before these last few days.

When the bees die, they fall down to the bottom of the hive and are swept out by the workers and their little bee bodies are carried off. One morning during the height of our rainy spell, my mother called me, "Oh Beth, something terrible has happened--all of your bees are dead." She had noticed that there were no bees flying in or out of the hive and then noticed on the little lip of the hive (what we call the porch) there were piles of bee carcasses. I finished up my office work and then headed over to investigate worried that both my hives had fallen victim to too little sunshine. My dad and I lit the smoker and opened Washington hive. It was full of busy bees building comb and feeding larvae and the situation was the same in Madison hive. We surmised that the weather had just been too nasty for the bees on funeral patrol to do their job. A brief appearance of the sun and the porch was all cleaned up.

Beavers and bees--I guess I am partial to creatures with a work ethic and a commitment to neatness.

10 comments:

Jayne said...

That is just so fascinating! So when they die, they just fall to the bottom and then a bee funeral is conducted and they are swept out the bottom. Hmmmm... who knew! Glad all is well and healthy with the hives. Can't wait to see you eating that first bite of Beth Honey! :c)

Carey's Corner said...

Thanks for the update, it's interesting to learn about what goes into this process and endeavor.

beckie said...

Beth, I have been wondering about your bees. I would imagine they are just as happy as you that the sun has at last come out in Maine. Funeral bees-the things you learn from blogs! :)orsmoly

Morning's Minion said...

Beekeeping is one of those things we always hoped we might do. There is honey made locally, mostly, I think, from the alfalfa blossoms. Alfalfa is raised and harvested here on irrigated ground.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, you never cease to amaze me! You and the bees! Amazing!

Hey, I have Maine photos up on my blog if you want to come and see!

britney said...

nice post and thanks for sharing....

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Lavinia said...

Hi Beth. Catching up here. Learning alot about bees by reading your blog!

beth said...

your last line....I like my people that way too with a lots of creativity mixed in....which obviously the bees and the beavers have also :)

Larry said...

Honeybees seem to be increasing in our area this year.The last two years they were scarce in my gardens. The Bumblebees still seem to outnumber the honeybees here.

britney said...

who felled to the bottom..
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