Monday, June 22, 2009
Father's Day surprise! I have baby bees!
In a way, I can sort of see what it would be like to be an expectant father. I have no children of my own, well, unless you count two Dachshunds, so I've never had to be through the paces of waiting for a baby to arrive.
But Sunday, which was Father's Day, I guess I could see in a way what a dad-to-be might go through when the bundle of joy makes an appearance.
I was looking out of my kitchen window on Sunday afternoon to see this dark clump on the entrance to my hive. Of course, it was just the day before that I found that my homemade Ziploc baggie feeder was leaking in the hive, and the entrance was covered with bees then, so that's what I thought again. I put a homemade two-quart inverted in the hive to replace the baggie feeder, and thinking the worse, I figured it was leaking too.
But I was wrong. When I went out to see what the clump was, the closer I got, I noticed that it was very small bees -- and the first thought I had was -- yellowjackets! But I got closer, about three feet from the hive, and it wasn't yellowjackets at all. It was baby bees! Very small baby honey bees!
It looked like my capped brood from Busy Bee Apiaries was indeed hatching! At one time, I counted about twenty little honey bees, scurrying across the front of the hive entrance. Then they would fly some...a foot...then a couple of feet...some would fly up above the hive and then return. So I knew they were conducting orientation flights to get themselves situated to their location. It was an awesome sight!
I made a dash for the house to get my camera because I wanted to show it on my blog. But by the time I got back, most of the little bees had headed back inside the ranch house to cool off, after all, it was about 95 degrees and humid.
I was able to capture a few on the entrance, but by no means was this all of them. I was just a little late with the camera! Today I counted about twenty again, and even some smaller ones, which leads me to believe that some are hatching out every day. And then my own brood, which is being done by my queen (which came from Busy Bee Apiaries too) is coming along just fine. I found larvae in all stages this past Saturday, so she's laying just fine. And with the empty chambers from all the new bees that's hatched, she has a lot more space to work with.
For a colony that was totally stressed and destined to die, they have made a grand comeback.
Should I consider this some sort of Father's Day surprise? In a crazy way, I guess it could be, and I'm not complaining!
Thanks to everyone that's reading my blog. And thanks to everyone who has helped me along with advice and ideas! I appreciate everything!