….arrives on the urban homestead. While the internet is a buzz with stories of colony collapse disorder I am happy to report bees are alive and doing well in this here city.
Last Spring we captured a swarm (read all about it here) and the bees have been happily residing on the urban homestead ever since. In exchange for free room and board the bees are are pollinating our crops and trees. With the warm weather and flowering fruit trees and flowers the bees have been busy and we can smell the honey! The sweet smell of their hard work permeates the backyard. How sweet is that?
This afternoon while picking salad and edible flowers for one of our clients, Justin spotted another swarm of bees in the orange tree at the back of our property. He came in and informed us “hey, guys there’s a swarm in the orange tree.” Of first concern was it our hive that was doing the swarming. Thankfully it wasn’t our colony of bees, instead some new arrivals had decided to buzz into our lives. There must be a mega hive somewhere nearby!
Everyone scrambled… all hands on deck to grab this swarm! Jordanne and I grabbed our cameras to capture the excitement, Justin went into the garage to bring out the empty top bar hive and Mr Beekeeper went to inspect the new arrivals seeing if he could spot the queen (she’s the important one to look for)
With thousands of bees swarming all over the place (not picked up by the camera unfortunately) Mr Beekeeper and Justin calmly inspect the colony of bees….
and then there were none. Zilch, nadda, goose egg. The top bar hive was empty.
Unfortunately, within a 1/2 hour the bees didn’t stay long in their new home. It wasn’t because they didn’t like their new lodgings. Having kept bees since the 1970’s Mr Beekeeper thinks it could have been a “false swarm.” He says that most of the time the queen is among the first to leave the hive and occasionally she doesn’t find her way out of the hive at all in which case the swarm will return. Which explains why the bees never really settled down to form a cohesive swarm, instead the bees kept circling probably wondering where their queen had gone.
:: Resources ::