Just in case you need some inspiration at the beginning of the most active part of the beekeeping year….
I like the impression created here that swarming is part of beekeeping and not the disaster some beekeepers make of it. I also like the enticement she uses, no, not to attract Troy, but to attract the bees to the hive with herbs and honey. I wonder what kind of herbs?
I am reading, in ebook form, Far from the Madding Crowd at the moment. But this form seems a very pleasant way as well. For more of the book or others see CCProse Audiobooks.
My little darlings are really busy of late, not just with the pollen and nectar gathering, but also with the water collection. I have been sitting in a particularly sun-drenched corner of my garden, by my much-neglected greenhouse, and have been entertained with their comings and goings at a favorite watering spot–an unused flower pot (the birds like it too). It is still as Zen as it has been in the past.
But, beekeeping is not all sitting in sunny spots watching the bees. I am going to have to assemble at least one super for my swarm bees (one of my own swarms that I didn’t give away last summer). They have been very busy indeed. So much so that they have been making me feel guilty about my neglect: they have one of those mouse-hole type guards over the front to prevent robbing, but last week it was partially blocked by some plastic wrap they seemed to be attempting to drag through it. Where did the plastic wrap come from, you ask? Why, it is what I wrapped their fondant in so it didn’t get all melty and sticky over the frames. I guess some girls were trying to give me the hint that they were finished already with the fondant…
I wish I knew a spider expert. For the past few weeks, Cheryl has been curled up in a corner of the ceiling during the days and comes out to hang only at night. But more worrying is the condition of her web: there’s a dried bee there that I threw to her weeks ago, some bits of fluff, all of which tells me she hasn’t been re-spinning her web. I can’t tell whether she’s hungry, dying, laying eggs or what.
My girls do keep me guessing….
I’m one of those beekeepers who frets about swarming. I’m working on it, working on it….
I try not to fret, but not as sanguine as I make myself out to be…
Wow, I never knew anyone who threw insects into a spider’s web. Hope Cheryl is OK.
I hasten to tell you that they are dead, usually bees I have fished out of our watering dishes. Cheryl did get some live action the other night–some unsuspecting spider seemed to have wandered close to her web and it was really interesting (and a bit creepy) to see her reel it in….
Meant to mention Cheryl–hopes she’s just resting on her bee laurels and that she lives a long and happy spider life.
Which begs the question: what’s a long spider life?
I’m almost ashamed of it, but just to see what would happen (as if I didn’t know) I snagged a wasp flying into a ground nest. I carefully caught it in a net so I could toss it (alive) into a garden spider web…then I shot some video of it. 🙂
My brother supplied the very creepy music.
http://solarbeez.com/2012/10/27/wasp-on-in-web/ I’m not sure of her name because she didn’t hang around long enough. 🙂
Well, you knew what was going to happen. And is this a bit of anti-waspishness? (‘I was much relieved when I realized it was a wasp’). Still, excellent video, makes me ashamed of my less than amateurish attempts at filming Cheryl. I do have to admit to mixed feelings watching it though: fascination at watching the process, learning about it, and a bit of soft-heartedness at watching the struggles of the wasp. And, that’s one big-ass spider! Puts my Cheryl to shame!
What a nice voice the narrator has. What is the suggestion Troy makes to Bathsheba at the end of the chapter?!
Yes, intriguing to hear the Irish accent try to reproduce some Dorset-type conversation. Emily, now, telling you what happens next would be a no-no. I’ll give you this much: it has to do with swords….
It is done rather well in the Julie Christie/Terence Stamp film version. Should you wish to see the clip then Google “Bathsheba Troy sword scene”.
Now, don’t ruin it for Emily. I was trying to get her to read the book!
Have you read the complementary autumn story about beekeeping from Under the Greenwood Tree? Here is a link: http://www.online-literature.com/hardy/greenwood-tree/23/
Excellent, Philip! But far from complementary, rather the antithesis. I think the beekeepers reading this blog would be more horrified reading this passage than watching solarbeez’s (another comment) video on a spider mummifying and killing a wasp…
I agree but that’s why I posted the comment, the Chapter shows how the Victorians had so little concern about wildlife, for them it was just disposable.
I would hesitate to make such a sweeping statement, but yes, there attitude towards nature was on the whole different from ours….
Was it a house spider because they don’t spin webs or really they are messy things.. She could be molting or getting ready to lay eggs or maybe it’s a male.. House spiders live about a year..
No, this is one is definitely a spinner, some form of orb spider. She’s been with us since November, so she is getting on in months….