Friday, June 17, 2011

Purple bees!

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."


Mr. H. said...

I look forward to hearing more about your bees and loved seeing the ones covered in purple pollen. So sorry about all the storms in your area this year. What a mess, but I am glad to see that you are able to remain optimistic amongst the chaos. We had a large tree fall on our house this spring, the damage was not as bad as it should have been and at least it was only one tree. Maybe I'll post some pictures of it when I cut it up for firewood.

936000 said...

Travelling Gong Show-LOLOLOL! Love it and cannot wait to hear the story. How cool that you now have bees! I wish you much success and look forward to reading!
Have a great weekend Fiona!

Chris said...

Hi there

Meggs prompted me to your site which is great.
I've just started preparing for my first colony of bees and I'm really looking forward to it.
Hope to hear more about your first apiary.

Chris. x said...

Mr H -- thanks for your comment and kind words. Yes, the purple bees were quite the sight! I'm curious to see what happens when they get back to the hive... I'm happy to hear that your house (and you!) are ok after a tree fell on it -- that's scary!

Meggs -- oh yes, a travelling gong show indeed. That's my usual state of being though! I'll get to that post next week. :)

Chris -- nice to "meet" you and welcome! I took a peek at your blog and wow, your first hive is beautiful!!! It'll be great to compare notes with a fellow newbie beekeeper. :)

Erin said...

Wonderful photos! I've had people comment to me about how close I get to them to watch them and show them to people LOL, I think they know who their friends are and are far too busy to worry about us :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post and pictures! I look forward to the account of your journey with the bees, both in getting them in the first place and where they will take you now that you have them. :)

Jacqui said...

Hi - how exciting about your bees. I am waiting to hear when I can collect my colonies, but the bad weather in May meant that they had trouble getting the queens mated. I am looking forward to reading about your adventures. I always found working with the bees to be a mindful - almost meditative experience xx

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