Friday, August 29, 2014

The Bee's Knees

I think I first heard that expression from my Sainted Grandmother.. but being a down to earth Texas farmer's wife, perhaps not as she was not given to such flights if fancy. That is, as far as I know, though I do recall some pictures of her in styling 'flapper' type get-ups that would argue something different. According the this it has a interesting taxonomy starting in the 18th century as 'insignificant' to the 1920's meaning 'cool!'.

In any case, this summer for the first time we had a hive in our yard. Genius Daughter went to bee class and setup the thing along with Boyfriend. They administered the hive throughout the Spring and Summer, conscientiously tending to the things that needed to be tended to. It was basically all a mystery to me. In fact I didn't really worry about it after I realized that just walking around in the yard or even running the mower past them would not engender an attack.

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the queen, and a replacement queen just couldn't get the job done and the hive could not sustain itself. What you see in the above video is the result of a chaotic hive where many of the female drones have tried to take over the role of queen unsuccessfully, resulting in confusion. If we were earlier in the year, they could have gotten another (better) Russian queen, but given that we are late summer, there was not much to do besides breaking down the hive to store it and start over  next year.

It has been a learning experience for all of us, and I have no doubt that next year will be better. I will say that having bees in the yard has resulting in an explosion of all our flowers and the few vegetable plants we have here and there around the yard.  I look forward to watching the hive do it's thing next year, and am grateful I live in a county and neighborhood where such things are permitted.

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