Bees, bees, bees...on a ranch! -- "Mostly" Wordless Wednesday

In our 120 year old barn, we have had a colony of honey bees for more than 40 years. We've tried to move them a number of times with no luck.
We finally found a bee keeper interested in relocating the colony. He uses pine needle smoke for them. The smoke itself doesn't "calm" them, but it covers up their "attack pheromone." If they don't smell fear, they stay focused on their work.
Huge combs--both new and old--filled the cavity between the studs. The worker bees are all female and the drones are all male. The drones just sit around and eat and mate with the Queen once, then die! (That figures, eh!)
He spent nearly 3 hours clearing out the combs and looking for the Queen. I was so impressed with his patience and deliberation. He must really enjoy bees. He called them "The Girls."
We couldn't resist the delicious FRESH honey!
After hours of searching, he found the Queen and put her in the hive. You must find the Queen to relocate an active colony. She is their leader and will follow her into the new hive.
...then he swept the worker bees toward the hive and they smelled the Queen and began marching into the new hive.
Ouch! He didn't get stung many times, but he accidentally squeezed a bee when catching the Queen. He never even put on his gloves! He said our bees were very calm. :)
We ended up with buckets full of honeycomb and lots of delicious honey! I plan to write a full blog post about what I learned about honey bees and their importance to agriculture.

5 comments:

  1. Both my father and my great grandfather kept bees. Most people in your shoes would have exterminated the bees, and it's so nice to see the lengths you went to save the bees. Bravo!

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  2. Thank you for saving the bees! (From a new beekeeper)

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  3. The bee keeper that helped us also said thanks for saving the bees. I am working on a blog post about all that I learned about bees. It was so interesting--the bee keeper was so willing to explain things and teach me about bees! I loved it...until I got stung on the tip of my nose! OH well...guess I am kicking them out of their beloved home. So maybe I deserve this swollen, red nose!

    Thanks for your support, Bee Loving Readers!

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  4. Oh! Agriculture is my dream ...

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