Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Finally Found My Queen & Weird Evidence of Bees Shirking Their Responsibilities

Today's inspection started off great. Gorgeous weather. Bees were nice and calm. Lots of honey being stored at the back of the hive. (Yes, my bees have finally got it together -- brood at the front of the hive, honey at the back. They are no longer backward.) Then I got to the 7th bar from the entrance, and I got really excited. I found my queen for the first time ever!!!
Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?
(Yes, I'm singing like Stevie Wonder.)
I removed the bar and put it on my new top bar holder so that I could take her picture (say cheese!) and admire her for a bit. Well, by the time I was ready to put the bar back into the hive, it seemed like half the bees had followed their leader out and were lounging all over the top bars. To make matters worse, I didn't even have a lit smoker. I was using a spray bottle with water and some peppermint oil to keep them calm, which worked great for the most part. However, it just wasn't cutting it when it came time to encourage so many ladies to go back indoors.

After squishing a lot of bees (ugh, that "crunch" noise is going to haunt me tonight) and ticking the rest of them off, I finally conceded defeat and started the smoker. After a few puffs, they all made a beeline (har, har) back into the hive.

There was one other weird thing I noticed. Look at this bee just right of center in the photo below. I don't know what happened to her, but she seems to be embedded in the honeycomb. See her leg? It's actually going through one cell into another. Bizarre.

Reminds me of an image I once saw. It was a dead raccoon or 'possum on the road, and a street crew had painted double lines over it. Guess someone said, "Not my job." At the risk of being accused of anthropomorphizing, it appears that bees sometimes aren't all that different from people. 

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