Because I wouldn’t put it past them.
It’s usual for them to freak me out by doing something that looks distinctly bad. For instance, we had a hard frost around the beginning of April with the resulting scene above on the flight deck of the swarm hive the next morning.
Moreover, when the sun shines and the weather is clement, for instance around Easter or a few days ago, they behave like this:
(By the way, that stand is a lot more stable than it looks!)Remember, this is last year’s swarm hive, with the ancient queen (4 years old, I think), the one we were worried about lasting through the winter because they were such a small colony and didn’t have much in the way of stores, the one I was kicking myself not to have merged with the main healthier hive before winter began.
However, when it is good albeit freaky, then I am at a total loss and figure they are just messing with me. For instance:
15 April: Between work and a bit of a cold/wet (and sometimes windy) spell, we have been unable to really get into the hives. But as they have been freaking me out a little with the whole ‘are they bearding/aren’t they’ scenario, we opened them up really quickly today. The main hive where we converted to brood and a half seems to be doing really well. Too well. It’s scaring me. Nice brood pattern on middle frames in the half, so queenie’s been putting it about. Nectar around the nice carpet of brood. A lot of girls up in the half, very busy. As I say it is scary. Even more bees. Maybe honey. HONEY! What in the heck do you do with that? We are going into our third season without ever having to resort to centrifugal force. We were beginning to appreciate the consideration our lazy bees had for their lazy owners. Freaky and annoying all at the same time….
On the undeniably bright side, I was able to mow the lawn on Easter weekend, getting quite close to the hives, without a bee suit. So, it really was just a bad time of the year for them last year!
- Swarming of the Bees – It is That Time of Year Again! (thegardendiaries.wordpress.com)
- Swarm Sense (thrivefarm.wordpress.com)