Sunday, July 12, 2009
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.