Bee Ball!

Flower Bed (butterfly bush with bees is on middle right)

Flower Bed (butterfly bush with bees is on middle right)

Football-Sized Cluster of Bees

Football-Sized Cluster of Bees

Close-up of Bee Ball (used telephoto lens)

Close-up of Bee Ball (used telephoto lens)

Collecting the Bees

Collecting the Bees

Original Bee Colony in Birdhouse

Original Bee Colony in Birdhouse

We were working in our flower garden on Sunday, and realized there was an unusual number of honeybees flying around our butterfly bush. We didn’t understand why, because the plant had no flowers. Then we saw what was going on – there was a ball of bees in the middle of the bush! They were clustered together protecting the queen, waiting for scout bees to find a new home. The bees had outgrown their original home in the birdhouse nearby. Some of the bees had left in a swarm to start a new colony. If you see a swarm, the bees will leave once they find a new place for a hive (usually within 3-4 days). An article about bees and swarming (which is normal this time of year) is at: http://www.beethinking.com/pages/how-to-catch-a-swarm 

 Luckily we have a beekeeper friend who offered to come collect the bees early this morning (Monday). Time was of the essence, and this morning’s cool, clear weather was perfect for the task. The process was interesting to watch, and it was fascinating to hear that every movement the bees make has meaning. Happily the bees are now sitting in their portable hive under a mango tree in his garden, awaiting transfer to another friend’s yard for her new beekeeping endeavor. The bees are already drinking the 1:1 sugar syrup he provided, and beginning to make wax comb. Bees are an extremely important part of the ecosystem, and critical for the food we eat. At the hive, bees even do a “dance” to tell other bees where nectar can be found. Maybe we’ll get to enjoy some fresh honey from those bees later on!

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

5 Responses to Bee Ball!

  1. Thank you for this fine post on bees, and for saving this hive. Hope the honey does come back your way.

  2. It is an interesting story, Pam. I never had my own garden, but always want it.

  3. elisa ruland says:

    That must have been interesting to see, Pam…I don’t think I would have understood what was going on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: