Monday, March 12, 2012

Recycling Creates a Buzz

This is an interesting time of year at the compost pile.  There are enough freshly pulled weeds from the garden to cover the kitchen scraps but we leave them uncovered for the honey bees.  Fresh food is scarce now for the foraging bees.  Few flowers are open now but the temperatures are warm enough for the bees to fly.  They spend a great deal of time on the fruit peels.  We do not know if they actually find food on the compost but the bees are here in numbers every warm day.  We had an old jar of honey that was put out for the bees.  Few found it the first day but now it is popular.

Several years ago a former student placed five of his hives here.  Ed found the bees fascinating and bought a bee suit so that he could join in the work on the hives.  The next year the former student left his wife and bees and moved out of the area.  We did not learn fast enough how to care for the bees.  We lost every hive after three years with the original queens.  Winter survival for the hive was no problem but after three years the queens egg supply was exhausted.  No new eggs meant that the hive died.   This jar of our own honey remained in the back of the cupboard for years.  A diabetic has little use for honey.

Ed was never stung while he worked the hives.  Once when he had to right a hive that had been knocked over by a passing deer, his foot had to be placed very near a huge puddle of bees on the ground.  When he opened his bee suit after the job was done  several bees flew out.  The leg cuffs of a bee suit are open and several bees went inside of the suit with Ed.  Still no sting.  Ed believes that his calm confident manner is the reason that no bees sting him.  That same manner kept his students relatively subdued.  Today he approached the feeding bees with no protection.  He quietly took several pictures with the bees buzzing around him.  The camera was held close to the honey jar.  Feeding bees pose little danger.  None stung him or the wasp that was sharing the bounty.

1 comment:

circlelovely said...

Your pictures are amazing! I love the bees!