Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day #355 Bye-bye Bees

Yesterday morning, Rob and Tommy came by to take my bees to their new home.

I cried.

I also tried to give Rob the bee box brander I’d bought from Brand New, “because,” I said, “I’m not a beekeeper anymore.”

“Yes, you are,” he told me. “You still have the bees; they’re just going to be living somewhere else.”

The transfer was easy (except for my crying) in part because the weather has turned quite cool. At 10:30 in the morning, it was only about 48 degrees Fahrenheit / 9 degrees Celsius, so almost every single bee was inside the hive.

In fact, when Rob and Tommy each picked up a hive, they were both surprised at how heavy they were. That’s good news. It means the bees have been making good use of the supplemental feed I’ve been giving them, and they should have enough honey to get them through the winter, particularly since their new home will be in the middle of fifty acres that right now are filled with goldenrod, and my bees will have several weeks for harvesting. Goldenrod honey is good honey.

I still won’t get any honey until next spring, but that’s okay. My bees got off to such a slow start, I’m just glad they survived. Rob kept reassuring me yesterday that the hives were strong now and should make it through the winter just fine.

Here the hives are, loaded on the back of the truck. They guys stapled screening over the entrance holes.

And the photo on the right was my last view of the hives, as Rob backed the tuck out of my driveway.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen lots of pictures of the hives, taken through my bay window. The scene looks awfully empty now, with that slash of dark shadow from the deck railing looking like a slash across the whole enterprise.

There are about a dozen bees flying around the concrete blocks where their hives used to be. Rob said they’d figure out another place to go, possibly find a wild hive they could join. With their little gifts of pollen-filled corbiculae, I imagine they’d be welcome anywhere.

As I try to type this Saturday afternoon, through my tears I see an enormous Pileated Woodpecker land on one of the nearby trees in my back yard. Life goes on.

BEEattitude for Day # 355:
       Blessed are those who keep their eyes open, for they shall see wonders the rest of the world misses.

Fran’s p.s. The WAG raffle is over now. Once I contact the winner, I’ll let you know who it was and what kind of dog will be in Violet as an Amethyst.

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The Cat Bastet said...

I know you miss your bees, but you ARE still a beekeeper! Just remember how much they will love all that goldenrod.

Fran Stewart said...

Yes, Cathy. that thought is what's making up the sweet part of this bitter-sweet experience. I hardly wanted to look outside this morning, though. The deck looks so bare. Still - I think my girls will be much happier in their new home.

AggiePete said...

And the fuzzies are so well taken care of and loved ... yes, you are still a bee keeper and love them in their new home. Keep us all posted on their progress.

Fran Stewart said...

Yes, Petie, I will keep you posted. The trouble is - when I'm wearing all my protective gear, it's hard to push the button on my camera-phone through the heavy gloves! I'll figure out a way, though, to let you see their new home -- hopefully while the goldenrod is still in bloom.