Monday, April 26, 2010

You Can't Stop Nature!

Last year I was ridiculed by many, for being in our bee hives so much. We had several hives and about seven to ten days I would be into them, rotating days, therefore it seemed that I was into them everyday, to some. Well, this year I gave into the ridicule and look what has happened! We have had hives swarm on us at least three times that we know of. SO, to those that think I'm into the bees too much.....
Our bees did exceptionally well with my intrusions, they overwintered wonderfully and we did not lose any. I caught a lot of pests that would have other wise taken over a few hives last year and this year they are busting at the seams with vigor!
We have one hive we call the mega hive.....they had a mega swarm yesterday! Up in our little oak tree. It has been thirteen days since we were in them last and we were a day or two to late! This hive had so many queen cells it was unbelievable. They started hatching out of their cells as we were looking at them. The tree hive that we rescued from my moms hollow tree had lost their queen so I took a frame with two queen cells to their hive and as I was putting it into the hive a queen hatched out and went on into the hive like she had been there all along! It was awesome to watch! I went back later to see if they excepted her and they did! Acceptance must be better at hatching because they don't have the smell of the other bees? Not sure on that one but it happened!
Queens, by the book don't hatch out until the sixteenth day, but as I've said over and over we don't have textbook bees! There has been a few things we can totally rely on the books for but mostly it's hands on experience and knowing what our own bees do. I urge you if you have honeybees to get to know them and their behavior. They in turn will get to know you and yours, you'll bee glad you did. :o) I know I am. I am speaking of course to those that are doing this for enjoyment, weekend beekeeping, backyard beekeeping, hobby beekeeping, etc. Those that do this for a business, well, that's another story. Although if you are any of the mentioned above it can turn into a business very quickly!
Our "mega" swarm, These girls weighed at least six pounds easy!
My hubby to the rescue!
Is that a monkey in our tree?
He handed me the branch
They all went in, well the most important part anyway, the queen, the rest followed.
A lot of people ask if they are so calm why do we suit up, well, I have long hair, when the bees are flying they don't distinguish things that they can get caught in, such as spider webs, hair, etc. and like us when they get tangled (have you ever ran into a spiders web)? they panic and when we get something tangled in our hair we panic...get the picture? I admire the beekeepers that go into their hives ungloved and unsuited. That is a goal for day ;o) I have been into swarms unsuited and no gloves several times, yesterday though, we were already suited up into the mega hive when my husband kept saying he thought they must have swarmed already, as we were discussing this I told him the only possibility would have been if they swarmed that morning or the evening before......he then stepped away from the hive and said "well, we haven't looked up in the trees"....then he called my name......"oh"...I said ..."say it ain't so!"
Well, I'm off to look up into the trees LOL
Have a wonderful day!


  1. Love your articles Julie!!!! Bee good! Bee safe! Bee blessed!!! (couldnt resist))

  2. Thank you Reba! And I am all of the above, LOL
    I'm glad you didn't resist!
    Oh, Reba...right back at cha!
    Love ya!

  3. Great post, Julie! You are an awesome beekeeper. I've never doubted your meddling. I learned first hand that keeping bee hives alive requires a LOT of dedication - and you are obviously very dedicated. I love that you are such a good bee mommy! We keep saying we're going to get bees again - but I know we won't do that until things settle around here. Keeping bees requires a lot of vigilance. At least keeping them WELL does. You are doing an AWESOME job!

  4. Thanks Penny! I tell Joe all the time that he couldn't have his "girls" if I was still working for money, LOL. It is a full time job. One you have to enjoy though. A couple of hives wouldn't be that bad, we counted after we finished up with the hatching queens and forming double queen hives yesterday evening, (plus the mega swarm) and we now have eleven hives! Not all here so that means we also have to go to the other place we have them. It happened so fast! LOL But I do enjoy it.