What an extraordinary autumn we are having here in Southwest Nova – really warm weather and an extended season for the foraging honeybees. If bees wore clothing they would be dressed in shorts and tank tops with these temperatures. But despite what our eyes see, the phenology of bees- to- flora is telling another story. It is saying that the flower sources for the nectar and pollen are getting low and the beehive is in preparations for winter.
The obvious signs of this winter preparation is the “eviction of the surplus Drones” from the hives. The Drones are the male bees in the hive, all the other bees are female. They bring balance to the hive and naturally it is with the Drones from the hives that the virgin Queen Bees mate – but that is a unique occurrence . The cycle of the Drone is such that Rudolf Steiner says they bring an earthly connectivity to the hive ,which otherwise has a strong Sun connectivity. But just like Bertie Wooster’s “Drone’s Club” in the famous BBC Series, Jeeves and Wooster, there is a good bit of lazying around done by the drones in the hive, and winter survival means non-working surplus would threaten the survival of the hive, so they are thinned out by the worker bees. Another sign that winter is well underway and it is no longer “business as usual” for the bees, is the “robbing” . Robbing takes place when the nectar sources are low and the bees wish to continue to collect as much food as possible. They look upon the other hives in the apiary as a convenient place to pick up some honey and thus the robbing. We shut down the size of the hive entrances to allow the guard bees in the hives to better manage the smaller “gate way” and they do a great job. However if you have a weak hive, it could be the robbers will win and overtake the guards. One interesting thing about this situation is that possibly the bees in the robbed hive might then just go and join the robbers hive, and if not, they will parish from starvation.
Bello Uccello Estate Honey now is available to buy in Halifax through: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 902- 404-8677 to arrange pick-up. If you wish to purchase chemical free, natural, seaside wildflower honey that has not been pasteurized, has only been lightly gravity filtered so that traces of pollen and propolis are still in the honey and that comes from bees raised by biodynamic principles and Love and you live in Halifax, you now have the opportunity to do so. Bello Uccello Estate Apiary will be selling its honey at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market this coming Saturday morning . Hope to see you there.
A new Rudolf Steiner inspired Waldorf Kindergarten opens its doors this coming Wednesday, Oct 4th at the Oakdene School in Bear River. We will be visiting these children with our observation hive and quite looking forward to introducing the children to the bees.
In the New Year we will be posting the workshops for 2012 and they will include a Natural Beekeepers Course for Beginning Beekeeping, a Natural Beekeepers Course for Experienced Beekeepers and a General Natural Beekeeping Workshop for those who wish to learn more about the honeybees and how they can help. For more information on our workshops write to: email@example.com Our new website is under construction http://www.beecosmic.com and should be up and running in the new year.
In the Apiary we are mowing the grasses short, cleaning the area of debris, and making sure there is nothing rotting to cause bad bacteria. The Aqua media (an amazing local product which is 100% natural and is made from transformed scallop shells is placed on the bottom boards to give great air filtration and eliminate any molds. Part of the Langpohl Beehive System incorporates these scallop shells in the ventilation system. The towers are now lowered to two supers per hive and most importantly, the bees seem happy. Happy Thanksgiving to all.