Yesterday I met one of the queen bees who will moving to my “Bee Yard” next weekend. I was invited to join my bee mentor, Mr. Floyd for another inspection of his hives. I was pleased that he offered an extra bee suit to adoring husband, allowing him to see what all the buzz is about. I appointed him head photographer so I could work and investigate the hives. He graciously accepted the task.
Unfortunately the sun did not act graciously and we worked under cloudy skies – not the bees favorite conditions. We opened and inspected about 7 or 8 hives. When you inspect a hive, for those of you unfamiliar with bee keeping, you first smoke the entrance and around the top to calm the bees. Next the top is removed, allowing a view into the hive. When the top comes off the bees are exposed to light and are warned that something is happening. Did you know that bees live in darkness inside those hives? Most of the bees stay on the frames and continue to work but a few always seem to come buzzing out. A little more smoke is pumped into the hive at this time and the bee keeper removes the frames from inside the hive and inspects for brood, aka baby bees, amount of honey production, any intruders, population of bees in the hive and this time of year for the queen. By this time the bees remain calm or they might show that they are angry for having been disturbed. Yesterday all but one hive remained calm, albeit they do come out and explore what is going on. When the one hive seemed a little angry we returned the frame and the lid and left them alone knowing they were a healthy bunch!
We had completed our inspection of all but 2 hives and had yet to locate a queen. We moved to a small hive and Mr. Floyd told me it was one that would be moving to my yard. I was pretty excited to see how well “my” bees were doing. I began to ask him about seeing or not seeing the queens, and was telling him I’d only seen a queen one time, when he’d removed bees from our camper. I was wondering out loud if I would be able to spot a queen on my own when lo and behold I spotted “my” queen. She was beautiful and busy. You’ll see her photo below. She posed for the paparazzi as I stood there in amazement! She is the larger, brownish bee near the top center. Mr. Floyd gave me kudos for spotting her and pointing her out. That event made my day and I am still smiling at having found the queen bee in my hive.
The bee yard will be buzzing with excitement next weekend when the bees move in. I’ll be praying for sun and warm days and nights to help them settle into their new digs. I think my photographer got some fabulous shots yesterday. Stay tuned for more adventures which will be taking place right in The Orange Bee bee yard. Meantime take a gander at the shots from yesterday. Thanks honey!