Thanks to my new friend Maurice, I got my bees back.
Amidst the tribulations I’ve been having this year–the city crack down on me being the most obvious–I lost my bee hive. I noticed fewer and fewer bees going in and out, and then I had to admit it: they were gone. I did a CSI-type investigation, and it looked like the queen was laying too many drones, or had died. Almost formed queen cells were all over the hive. Trouble was, it probably got too cold for them to hatch out a new queen and have her fly out for her nuptials. There was honey in the hive, but not much. There was also mold–such a wet year!
Sad, it had been a great hive for three solid years, providing better pollination and tons of delish honey, but the least of my worries.
Still, when Maurice called and said he had a huge swarm from one of his beehives, I was psyched to come over and collect it. What was funny was, I could barely remember how to catch a swarm. It had been too many years. How did I hold the bottom box together with the bottom board? Luckily, M is a pro, and we extracted the swarm out of the chain link fence/branch combo. A big, basketball size swarm. M wrapped the box up with his surfboard strap for easy carrying. I got to put them in a better place–further to the south, so I can have more space for my urban farmer’s market (when will that happen again? next year?).
They seem to be adjusting nicely to the new surroundings. As soon as the rains stop, I’ll go in and add another super. I pulled out all my old dead hive’s frames to air them out on a table. I noticed the new bees buzzed over to the frames and started collecting all the old honey and wax to build the new hive. It’s nature’s way of recycling. I’m just glad to help.
Sort of related, I’ll be reading in Seattle, where I first started beekeeping! April 28! It’s a fundraiser for AlleyCat Acres, a Seattle-based urban farming organization. Here are the details…
Where: Washington Hall, 153 – 14th Avenue (at Fir), Seattle, WA
When: April 28, 7pm-10pm
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW AT BROWN PAPER TICKETS:
Also, I’ll be at the following places next week doing my dog and pony show:
April 26: UC Berkeley, 12:30, 390 Hearst Mining
April 27: Laney Community College, Noon, 4th floor, T-450.
See ya around….