Friday, March 26, 2010

Honey Bee Colony Update 2

I am so excited about sharing this wonderful news with you!

If you recall, in January our 70 foot oak collapsed on our driveway, and I wrote about it here (Honey Bees And Oak); fortunately there was no damage to life or property. To our surprise we found a colony of honey bees inside one of the large arms of the tree, and needless to say I was rather distraught in an attempt to locate someone to help save those bees. This (Honey Bee Colony Update) is the followup in which I described calling the swarm contacts, several of whom indicated nothing could be done.

The exception was Pat, who with his beautiful little daughter Ruby, took the time to see if they could come to the rescue of not just the honey bees, but me. (wink) For those not familiar, you might read both of the above or at least enjoy the photos. In any case, this is how the cold and rainy 18th of January looked as my husband and Pat wrapped the log in burlap...

and a photo of the collapsed combs.

I wrote to Pat a short while ago to ask how the bees were doing; additionally I told him of my delight at the large number of honey bees currently in our garden. Pat sent the following wonderful photos and response relative to my 'log bees' that he and his family have come to call them:

I simply placed the 'log' on our hive platform, opened the end with the knot hole they appeared to use before the tree came down, covered with a tarp and let 'em be.

They have been coming and going vigorously with our other one hive. Today I took a look inside.
You can see the existing combs, which had collapsed against themselves, now have space between. I think they removed an 1/8 from each side of each comb to create the near 1/4" 'bee space' needed to work between.

New comb (lighter color) has been built perpendicular to the hold, on the top of the cavity. Straight on in the middle of the cluster you can see nectar (honey) and pollen being stored already, and as well, capped off cells that contain the larvae of new bees. This colony is doing fine. They even have some space to expand toward the back of the log cavity and may not even swarm out this year!

Now I ask you, is this not the most remarkable event? Look at what these amazing creatures have accomplished in a few short months: they have rebuilt just as Pat suggested they might. Absolute beauty! Bless you Pat and bless those bees as I am one happy and thankful lady! and with tears of joy.