I was sitting on the front porch this afternoon taking a break. As I was thinking of the projects I need to put on my To Do list, I noticed some bees landing on some Spanish Needle in my flowerbed. They were apparently gathering pollen, as their pollen baskets on their hind legs were quite full of the yellow substance. Now I lost all the bees in my back yard during the early Spring and I wondered just where they were coming from.
As I was watching them, my friend called to talk about my loading a barrel of sugar and a barrel of peppermint candy that I had bought 3 years ago. I had forgotten that I had stored them at his honey house. He needed the room so I told him we would load them Friday morning and I would take them to one of my apiaries in the northern part of the county where I was moving all eight of my hives for Winter. As we were talking, I told him about the bees on the Spanish Needle.
I couldn’t see where they were going because they were flying down low and in the shade. He suggested that I catch some of them with some sugar water as bait. putting them in a jar. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the bees to make them look like white ghosts. Then let one or two out at a time and follow until I lose them. Let a couple more go and follow them, repeating the process until I either found the colony or I run out ofÂ yard.
I will get that started in the morning andÂ around noon and see where that takes me. It could be that the bees might have swarmed, since we have had swarms as late as the middle of October, and landed in one of the supers I have stacked in the back yard to be cleaned. I might have a colony of bees that I didn’t know of.
Let me tell you, keeping bees is the most interesting and enjoyable occupation I have ever had next to driving an 18 wheeler across this US of A of ours. There is always something that will surprise you when you least expect it.
I have one more screened bottom board that I can use if I do find the colony close. I have several honey supers that I can use to start another hive with and this would be a good time to see if it is feasible to use only medium supers for a complete hive. This is the beginning of an experiment. Remember, I said that experiments are what makes a good beekeeper. And just maybe, I will find that all I have to do is cut my deeps down to 6 5/8″ and that would solve my box problems. Then I just buy some more medium frames and I will be set for the spring honey flow.
Well, it is in the morning here where I live, so I really should get in bed. My wife is cooking 2 turkeys for lunch today. We are feeding about 25-30 hungry bodies and I may have to help by going to the convenient store for something else that she ran out of. So Good Night yawl. Talk to you in the next few days. Enjoy Thanksgiving and relax with a good bee book or a be magazine.