SPRING IS IN THE AIR – BIRDS AND THE BEES
The Commonwealth of bees from each hive has been exploring the new earth once again, after a winter of inward cosmic life. Spring is here in all of its glory, with chilly, windy dull days and bright, warm sunny days. Exploring bees have already found the alders which are full of pollen and the maples too. This means the nursery is in full swing inside of the hives and the abundant stores of honey left for the bees last autumn,
and the fresh pollen will all be used to bring about the expansion of the hives.
On sunny warm days, when the sun’s rays shine on the still-snuggly-wrapped hives,
the bees start their housekeeping. They know it is too cool to fly far from the hive but they are Beings which live in the Present Moment and make full use of the kind warmth which the sun gives to the interior of the hive.
Spring housekeeping is being done in earnest and the signs of this are all of the dead bees on the ground in front of the hives. The life span of a honey bee is not all that long and so the bees which one sees in the autumn are not necessarily the one’s one will meet and greet in the Spring. The young autumn bees, which have gained age and wisdom, just like you and I, will be the ones attending to the Queen and the community life inside . As soon as possible the dead bodies are swept out of the hive by the busy-cleaning- crew. Klaus looks at the bees on the ground to see if there are any indications of disease or something unusual to be seen.
We are glad to report all seems well and all hives have survived another winter here in Nova Scotia.
The newest gossip with the bees is the small shed being built in the Sanctuary to house all of the equipment and tools which are required as a keeper of bees. The former storage facility, a small yellow “bumble bee trailer”, has now found a new home as the playhouse for our granddaughter. The storing of bee equipment is no small issue.
Klaus had determined the best way to keep the beautiful waxed frames which the bees had made, safe from invasion by moth’s or ants ,was to store them in our Jeep. The moth’s and ants could easily find ways into the “bumble bee trailer” and so our Jeep became a moving storage facility.
Any passenger in the Jeep was in peril from flying supers or other miscellaneous things which all shuttled around the back of the Jeep in “safe keeping”. Now the new, well sealed storage shed will hold everything in one place. It also forms an excellent wind-barrier to block the cold north and northeasterly wind storms from hitting the hives in the Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary. Clearly, this life of being a keeper of bees calls for Attention to details at all times:-}
All the hives have survived the winter months once again, and because of the number of hives , this year we will be able to offer to sell small hives to our new and former students. In the next blog we will be discussing ethical Guide Lines for purchasing honey bees. When you are starting out as a new keeper of bees you are met with the whole world of big business and bees as the commodity. This industrialized system in the
business of beekeeping has evolved over the last one hundred and twenty years and so
most books you will read, systems and equipment you will buy and practices you will see, are all based on such a honey-factory-paradigm in beekeeping, and so it is not easy to discern what is natural and ethical and ecological.
All of this and more we will discuss with you next time.
We will be selling the Sanctuary’s surplus biodynamic honey at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Victoria Day Weekend. Hope to See you there.