Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Few Days of Spring in Mid-Winter: Watching the Honeybees

It's supposed to hit 60 here in the valley today and we just spent several hours with Gordon, a bee-keeping friend, who took us out to one of his hive locations. There were about fifteen hives there and most active. A few died over the winter, but he said he'll have no trouble re-filling them when some of the hives swarm in the spring because they're over-populated.

His "girls" were very active in the warm sunshine flying around doing their thing. They pretty much ignored us although a few landed on my arm and gave me a close up view of their beautiful little bee-bodies. It's easy to see where the term "busy as bees" comes from.

Gordon lifted a few of the inactive hive lids and showed us the inside with cells containing pollen, honey, or new brood (i.e. baby bees).  Larry and I are soaking up everything we can and plan to go shopping next month for the hive equipment we need to get two colonies started. I'm excited to try this new hobby and am already exploring our property for the best bee hive location. We probably won't get any honey our first year. The bees will need what they produce to winter over next year. In the meantime, we look forward to this adventure with 30 or 50 thousand new girlfriends and two queens.

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