If you've been following this blog, you know that this Greengirl was lucky enough to put honeybees in her back yard. The city passed the ordinance in March and we were granted permission in April. Normally, that’s a little late to be putting bees in place, but we were determined and excited to have them this year.
Things went relatively well over summer. The honeybees flourished in the city. More flowers, more protection from the weather, and a bit longer pollen-gathering time than up north. They were gentle and did not disturb anyone in the neighborhood.
All in all if there were any “problem” I would say that we placed them too close to the apple tree. I would hit my head against the apple branches when we were working on the bees.
Providing a constant eye on the hives was helpful in learning more about bee-behavior. We found that they would ‘beard’ more often than we saw in the past. When bees ‘beard’ they hang out in front of the hive. It’s like they are all getting a breath of fresh air. At first it’s a little ominous… about a thousand bees stuck to the outside of the box. But eventually, they go in and get back to work.
And, fortunately, we were able to harvest a little bit of honey this year. That’s unusual for a first year when your main goal is to build up the hive. So our neighbors will be enjoying a little gift of honey soon and we will be putting covers around the boxes to tuck the girls in for the winter.
Until Spring, honey bees, beat your wings and keep the queen warm!