Until Mark has a little time to write about the queen bank, I will post some shots of the work he’s been doing. Here he is at the Big Oaks bee yard where he is building and holding new hives. As you can see, it’s pretty cloudy and sprinkled quite a bit on us. We are getting a bit of weird weather around here, which we typically welcome…but not when we need to get new queens installed! 🙂 Well, Mark and his bee hands do what they can until the rains force them to stop. It doesn’t really make the bees happy to be disturbed on these coolish, cloudy, wet days. Since I have to be careful around the bees (allergic to stings), my tasks include making general observations, watching out for animals (self assigned b/c I don’t fancy wild hogs charging towards us, or hungry/curious horses), snapping photographs and sprinkling fire ant powder around the hives (being a bit of a nuisance around two hives in particular).
Above is a shot of one of the hives that is seeing some troubles – not just from the ants but also from other bees robbing it! It is so fascinating to me to watch the bees. They have such structured lives and roles. Everyone knows what they are to do! They also seem to know all about robbing and defending. In this shot, we see bees paired in “fighting” but there’s also the little cluster of bees (bottom left) attacking one bee. Poor bee. Not strong enough to take on all of them. Hope that hive gets stronger with the new queen and makes it! Below if the hive with some grass Mark put in the entrance to help prevent some of the robbing activity; it seemed to slow it down a bit when I looked again.