BEES THRIVE OR SURVIVE – that is the question

Autumn has not yet shown its true colours, however the mornings have a familiar cooling temperature which reveals that the unfoldment of Summer is almost complete and Autumn is falling into its natural place within the splendid progression of the seasons.
The picture below shows the wild flowers which are growing along side of a dirt road near us and unlike last year, the bees are having an abundant late summer harvest of pollen and nectar. They are singing their “happy song”….. and yes, they do have different songs
for different occasions or circumstance, just like me.

DSC08351 Nova Scotia Wildflowers in late summer

At six o’clock this morning we were in our car and on our way to pick up one of those small swarms which we hived earlier this year at our out apiary in the rose bush. We have finished our five foot long modified Top Bar Hive and these bees are to be the
first residents of such a grand abode. Why the bees have decided to create so much brood this year is a mystery to us. The out apiary’s little hive of Spring, with its handful of bees and a Queen and a toonie-sized brood nest is now four and a half supers
high and teeming with bees and 63,000 more just about to hatch.! The largest hive in bello uccello’s honey bee sanctuary cannot be inspected by one person alone – there are just far too many bees. We have never seen this situation with our bees and
it is rather a puzzle for us to truly understand what the bees are communicating to us with this manifestation. The bright side would be if they belief it will be a long Autumn with abundant food and they are Thriving in every sense of the word. The
tough side would be if they are anticipating a long winter and are trying to have a large population bring in the required food which will help the hive Survive the winter. I guess we all will just have to wait and see and learn. And remembering the fact that the wisdom of the bees goes back 100,000,000 years , perhaps these fifth dimensional beeings may be trying to communicate something which has just not become part of our consciousness yet. If you are having an over abundant amount of brood in your hives we would
love to hear from you to see if this is far spread or not.

It is interesting to contemplate on this whole idea of “Thrive” or “Survive”. The bees are in the peril they are in because we have created a material world where Survival
has been our Ideal of Success, regardless of how much suffering, death and environmental disaster we create in the process. How far does this distortion have to go we wonder. Our governments no longer measure our country’s success based on the indivisible social, economic and environmental well-beingness —- but rather on economic growth only. In fact in the present economic paradigm, illness and war and environmental disasters actually “add” to our GNP! If we Human Beings ever decide we shall Thrive instead of Survive, then such heart- rooted- connectivity to each other, nature and the planet will surely
create quite a “heart hive of humanity” and the bees can teach us much about this subject.

If you are keeping bees, we would suggest you save some of their frames, full with honey and pollen, in your freezer, so you can feed them early in the Spring with these frames. There is never a time that we do not have at least 10 full frames of honey-pollen in our freezer for emergency food for the bees. The honey will not crystallize if you freeze it . Because the situation is different this year with the bees, we are not selling much honey at the moment, as we cannot determine how much the bees will require to be left for the winter. If all of our hives are three- super- sized hives this winter, we will need to leave more honey and pollen than the usual 100 lbs per hive.

Although this blog has more than its fair share of swarming stories, we just had to share this one with others who may find solace in good company of another first- year- keeper- of- bees, and perhaps learn along with them. We did get permission to share this
story, for she too is part of the larger hive of natural beekeepers, who has the courage to “change the world” through becoming a caring beekeeper. Last week our friend, who is calling herself the Swarm Queen, had the biggest swarm we have ever seen. The “location, location, location” part of our talk did not root and so she located her two new hives in
her lovely garden with a four-storey- high mature tree directly behind it and several more to its side. Her bees also exploded in their hives this summer, and since June she had only put food into the hives for the bees and never inspected them. When the very excited Swarm Queen arrived at our door explaining that her bees had left,
we sprung into action with our swarm catching bucket, suit and a spare super. The bees had landed so high up in the tree, that Klaus standing on a very long ladder,
holding his bucket trap on a 20 foot pole, did not even come close. When the vacated hive was inspected, there was a small amount of bees left and five Queen cells and brood
and eggs and burr comb everywhere. The honey had been mostly taken with the bees for the rebirth process. The inside of the hive had been built up with extra wax cells in every space and surface – this made housing in downtown Seoul Korea look not crowded! It is easy to be overwhelmed with the bees for the first two years – there is so much to do and think about. To get a good feel for this adventure, we recommend the book ” Beeing”.
So Swarm Queen (SQ for short), inspected her second hive the next day and was not quite sure if she saw a queen cell or two or not. Friday at 5pm we were back in her yard with another swarm, up the same tree, in the same place. Just as we drove in the yard they decided to start their journey and they were everywhere in the air. Seeing the Rebirth of the Hive will never get less than awe-inspiring for us! The song, the flight towards the sun,the letting go and reuniting into a new body – how much promise of Life is in this single geocosmic event!? As they started up the dirt road, we chased
along side of them and they were so kind – they made their flight path along the road, roaring in thunderous unison. After ten minutes they came to a lovely opening in the woods, with an old apple orchard behind them and the sun shining directly into this cave of greenery. They recreated their swarm ball on a fir tree about 20 ft in the air. Team effort got the swarm re-hived and tomorrow we will reunite this swarm back into the hive from which it came, so that the hive will be vital enough to survive the winter. If this was not so late in the season , we would have had other options, but
it is late summer and the “extra Queen” is coming to our honey bee sanctuary where we have the conditions so she can survive until she has her cycle as a bee completed and she goes back to Venus to sing love songs to the Stars.

Rehiving a Swarm


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