Bees are interesting little creatures and they are becoming more and more interesting every day. I mentioned that the wind was ferocious yesterday, Thursday, and that the bee adventure would be postponed. Right as the sun was setting however, I received a phone call from Mr. F. He said he was on his way over to look at what we thought were queen cells in my hive. Yikes! I took a big gulp of wine, not recommended, put on my bee suit and headed outside to meet him.
We smoked the bees, opened the top and began removing frames to look for any queen cells. I had been so fired up over seeing what looked like queen cells that I’d written they would be in the middle box. I was mistaken, they were in the hive body. To our surprise when I pulled out the frame that had what appeared to be queen cells on it the day before, it looked completely different. We were both stunned to see that the work of the bees didn’t look like they were building queen cells. This is one of the anomalies of beekeeping, that is causing my bewilderment.. Time to move on.
We examined each frame in all three sections of my hive, observing a lot of baby bees capped in their cells, honey for their nourishment and tons of busy bees. We did not get lucky enough to see the queen nor evidence of her recently laying eggs. This is not good! We do not know for sure if my first hive still has a queen. This saga will be continued as it progresses.
The second unique adventure in the bee yard was Mr. F. brought a box of bees, expecting to pour them in with the queen cells, which have mysteriously disappeared, and start a new colony. Now I have a two-story hive of queenless bees. “Not to worry”, he told me, “we’ll look for a queen to bring to them”. Ahhhhh, okie dokie. I thought bees lived for their queen and these poor little orphan girls have no leader. Distress sets in. I am distressed and I’m sure they are too.
On the bright side, today is a glorious, warm, sunny, mild day and the girls are busier than I’ve ever seen. I noticed thousands of bees retrieving nectar from the holly bushes in bloom, also high in the tops of a red oak tree they buzz so loudly they can be heard down below and this tree stands 40 feet tall, at least. The activity of coming and going at the hive entrances I would liken to JFK at Christmas. I am staying positive – a distinct trait of mine. Needing to care for the bees means more time to visit with them and learn their many quirky habits and lifestyle.
Tomorrow is a new day in the world of The Orange Bee and I can’t imagine what great adventure lies in wait. Stay tuned…..