On Wednesday I brought home three colonies of honeybees, and while I still want to write about that trip/adventure/travelling gong show involving a minivan, escaping bees and road construction, I was too excited about what I saw this morning not to share these photos now.
As I was checking the almost blooming peonies for signs of Japanese beetle damage, I heard a low humming sound coming from the Chinese poppies -- our beautiful Dancing Bees!
Our farm has been blessed with visitor bees before and this spring was rich with bumblebee activity, but there is something magical about seeing these creatures collecting pollen from our flowers to make the honey that we will one day enjoy.
I'm very, very new to bees but already I'm crazy excited about sharing this place with these amazing and industrious creatures. I'm fascinated by their biology, their social structures and hive hierarchies, their behaviour and their beauty.
I thought I'd be scared being this close to them, but I was in awe of their work as they dove into the heart of the flowers and swam through the stamens, slathering themselves with beautiful purple pollen.
As one emerged, I watch it sit on the edge of the flower petal, brushing the pollen off her head and thorax until the baskets on her legs were just bursting. Mesmerizing.
I still have so much to learn about managing the hives, working with the bees, protecting them from parasites and disease and even simply harvesting the honey.
But in the meantime, I'm grateful for this new insight on what it truly means to be "busy like a bee."