Bee’s Eye View


My last bee -related post was muy triste–another lost colony! But I have good news. A few days ago I caught a swarm. I went over to my friend Jennifer’s house with the extractor to harvest some honey. She’s got a wonderful, gentle colony of bees in her backyard in Emeryville. Once I arrived we noticed the bees were making swarm noises and were really clustering outside the hive. “Oh no, they’re going to swarm again,” said Jennifer. Within half an hour, the sky around the hive filled with bees flying around in a circular pattern. Then all at once they clustered together and flew off in the direction of the neighbor’s lemon tree.
I put an empty hive box under the lemon tree, hoping to attract the swarm. Meanwhile, we decided to proceed with the extraction. We carefully uncapped the comb and spun out the honey from Jennifer’s hive. (Later she discovered had 10 other queen cells made by the bees–they really want to take over the world.) Once our work was done, I shook the swarm into the box, put a lid over it, stuffed the entryway with a t-shirt, took the bees on a short drive, and viola! We’re back in the bee business on the squat garden.
Later Bill noticed that a bee had fallen into one of the honey jars. We fished her out and after about 5 hours of cleaning and licking, she had herself de-honeyed and was preparing to fly off.
Off in the distance you can see the garden and the hive (to the left). Happy days again.

3 responses to “Bee’s Eye View

  1. Call_Me_Ishmael

    Novella:

    I’ve been reading your blog with great interest and enjoyment, and am happy to hear that you are back in the bee business. Good for you! Check out today’s (April 26, 2007) SF Chronicle for an interesting article on bee colony death. Good luck with the new bees.

  2. I love seeing the garden! What a happy bee reading the New York Times.

  3. Defensemaster

    I am glad to see that you got another hive started. Your intriguing story in Salon a while back has prompted me to keep checking in on your progress.

    Best of luck to you!

    Chris Meyer

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