HONEY ROCK DAWN

To Bee, Continued

top bar hive

This is my hive.

I have it in a beautiful sheltered nook at my neighbors’, inside an abandoned stock rack (that big metal thing, which is designed to go in the bed of a pickup so you can carry your horse around in your truck). The stock rack keeps the large four-legged beasts (cows, horses, sheep, donkey, etc) from rubbing on the hive, and it’s at my neighbors’ because look at this place! It’s an ideal location for bees, better than anywhere I had at home – secluded, protected from wind, next to meadows and flowering trees.

Not a bad place to bee.

The weather has been nuts here – chilly and rainy since March – but Sunday was gorgeous and warm so I checked on my bees. They have three large combs built already! Some of the cells hold the liquid beginnings of what will be honey, and some of the cells hold eggs!

I even saw my queen, which was incredibly thrilling and occurred five seconds after I asked myself “how does anyone ever see their queen amongst all these bees??!” The queen has a much longer body than the worker bees, and she is the only one who has a shiny black back – worker bees have fuzzy backs. My queen is very dark; her body looks like polished mahogany. I was so happy to see her!

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Bee photography has a learning curve.

bee

To Bee!

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The Farmily grew by ten thousand members this weekend. I became a bee guardian, initiate bee priestess.

Mike and I built a top bar hive, and I introduced the bees to their new home on Sunday. It was intense. It was a totally psychedelic experience. I laughed out loud, I cried, I felt the truth of the universe. I watched a bee dance, I watched a bee die. I got sick of wearing gloves so I took them off, and a bee landed on my hand, and bathed herself. Bees wash their faces like cats, with their front feet and tongue, did you know that? I did not know that, until I watched it happen on my forefinger, inches from my face.

They say not to open the hive for three days, to give the bees time to settle in without disruption. It has been so hard not to open the top and peek in! I resist, and I sit by the entrance and watch the bees fly in and out. They are carrying pollen in, which apparently means the queen is alive and all is well. I listen to the walls of the hive with my stethoscope and it is BUZZING in there. Another good sign. Tomorrow afternoon, I shall peek in.

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    • Out my window right now: two sandhill cranes herding six cows
    • Mike just said, "You'd be happiest living in an eggshell." He knows me better than I know myself.
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