Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day #26 Do bees ever get jealous?

I do wonder sometimes whether jealousy is a strictly human emotion. I've never heard of a jealous bee.

Now, bees are territorial.  They protect their hives. A wasp who wanders into a beehive is going to be in trouble. And a newly-hatched queen bee will do her darndest to kill off the as-yet-unhatched competition queens. But I've been reading lately about ways to combine hives, because the more bees a hive has, the more likely it is to make it through the winter. "More bees" means "more workers," which translates into "more honey and pollen stores."

I'm going to have to learn a lot more before I ever try it -- heck, I have to get my bees first, which is still five months away -- but once I have them, how will I know whether a hive is weak, whether a queen needs to be replaced, whether there is enough honey for them to survive the cold weather?

I think I'm going to need a lot of encouragement when it comes time to harvest my first batch of honey. What if I take too much?

Oh quit it, Frannie. People have been harvesting honey (that's a euphemism - it really amounts to robbing hives) for a kazillion years, and there are plenty of books and articles and even YouTube videos about how to do it. All it takes is a bee veil, a bucket, a warm knife, and a whole lot of courage. I'm not afraid of the bees. I'm afraid of my lack of expertise.

To get back to the jealousy idea though, when I look at videos of all those thousands of bees in a hive, each one going about her work, each one intent on doing what needs to be done, I think there isn't room for anything as petty as jealousy. Of course, bees aren't impressed by designer shoes or stock portfolios, which probably goes a long way to explain the difference between bees and us.

BEEattitude for Day # 26:
       Blessed are those who do what needs to be done, for they shall thrive. 

One thing I’m grateful for right now:
       The rain that is helping to sprout the red clover I planted for the bees.

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