Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Gift of Bees

We are coming up on Thanksgiving Day here in the US and my annual suggestion.  It is a time to share a little with those who have less.   There are many ways to do this.  I choose to give in those areas I am involved, in this case that means bees.

There is a way you can give The Gift Of Bees.  The Heifer Foundation provides all sorts of livestock in countries all over the world.  One of the things they provide is a hive of bees.  You can give a cow or donkey if you have the means but a gift can be as small as a duck or chickens.   You select what fits your budget or the item you are interested in.

Use this link for a Gift Of Bees.  The page will have links for a number of other critters to donate, choose your favorite species and know it is going where it is needed.

Check up on the Heifer Foundation on your own, I am confident you will find it a worthy charity that returns the donations to those in need and does not misuse them or your trust.

Happy Holidays for the Bees in The Dale.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Is Hot In The Dale

Another extreme bout of Indian Summer has hit The Dale with temps in the 90's and 100's. At 5pm it is still over 90 and the bees are bearding in search of some cooling.

 If you look closely you will see the entrance reducer on this hive.  Yesterday afternoon I happened to look at this hive and they were very agitated.  It was much more than orientation flights which usually happen earlier in the day around here.   I thought it might be honey robbing but I did not see any fighting going on.  Honey robbing can be endemic this time of the season with many pollen and nectar sources drying up.

I knew they were in an agitated state so I got fully garbed to put the entrance reducer in place so they would have less area to defend.   This is a very strong and active hive but there is no reason to expose them  any more than necessary.

I had proof very quickly how agitated, I had forgotten to put on my rubber boots and one of the bees nailed my foot through the cotton socks.   I should have known better.    One bee followed me into the laundry room but left.  I went inside to disrobe and found out a couple bees had been hanging on me somewhere.  One of the dogs spotted the bee and declared :"Fly, its a fly." and tried to bite it until she realized her mistake.  Then she was screaming  BEE!!  BEE!  Between us we dispatched her antagonists.   A little later the boy dog found the dead bee on the floor and commenced to bark loudly, letting us know he had protected us from evil. 

 The other hive was normal yesterday and I did not want to disturb them any so I did not do anything.   This afternoon they seemed to have the same excessive activity so I slipped an entrance reducer on that one too.   Within 10 minutes they seemed to have calmed down.  This is the nice hive, the Playa bees and I was able to put the piece on without donning my bee suit but I did not stay around long either.

Temps are supposed to drop 20-30 deg by the weekend so things should be back to normal and both hives are now set to defend themselves from robbing.