Our honey bees sound like a steady breeze, or a babbling brook as we are in prime honey season. A photo is nice, but a video tells the whole story.This buzzing lasts about five hours before the bees slowly go quiet. The side yard smells like a large jar of opened honey until the sun goes down. Not shown are the blue jays that try to pick off a few errant bees. Once a bee is on the hive, it is safe.
The worker bees never rest–they live four to six weeks in the busy season, working until they drop dead.
The clump of bees at the bottom might be the start of a “swarm,” too early to tell. Swarm is a good thing and it usually occurs when there is no more room in the hive and a second queen is born. The worker bees form a queen cell while other bees search for a new location. Within a few days the bees fly to the new hive. My hive has had four swarms in three years. In each case the swarm moved less than 50-feet away and, each time, I gave those bees away to other eco-friendly beekeepers. Frankly, we don’t have the space for more bees.
Our objective is to provide bees with a protected place to thrive. We don’t use pesticides. We don’t sell the harvested honey ,instead, we give it to friends, or use it ourselves. Eating local honey has cured my allergies. Anne has made lip balm from beeswax and olive oil. We may try beeswax candles later this year. That’s the buzz!