*I use a lot of stock images for my posts, but can I just tell you that this one is a shot I took while working inside of our hive?! Eeep!
The whole process of keeping bees is educational. I did a ton of reading before our hive arrived, but once you add thousands of critters to the mix, the mind reels with questions--most of which cause me to go in search of answers. There are at least five 'aha moments' I have had over the past few weeks:
Beekeeping Lessons Learned:
1. Beekeepers are a likeable lot if for no other reason than that they are very punny!
2. Drones, male bees, actually do not work, I learned. I had been under the impression that they do forage like their female counterparts--I was wrong. Their sole purpose is to mate with the queen, but since our queen arrived ready to lay eggs, we have hundreds of unemployed drones. *Also, drones (like the ones used to take aerial photos and deliver Amazon packages) were named after a long line of bee-themed unmanned military aircraft.
3. It's really hard to find our working queen! The only glimpse I have gotten of our queen is when she arrived in her little queen box. She is a mystery to me since she has begun working--though there is plenty of evidence that she is hard at work.
4. Lots of people are curious about this hobby and ask about it (see #1). Also, my neighbors have a great view of me watching this little colony from their kitchen window and have been guessing what was living behind our shed, based on the number of visits I've been making recently.
5. Bees are so focused that it makes no difference whether you are replacing sugar water, inspecting hives or observing bee activity, they rarely stop to acknowledge it. They seemingly wait their turn until they can get in and back out again, without interference.
There are bigger implications in these little bits of wisdom gleaned from observing these bees. These implications may not help me get them through the winter--but they do point me in the direction of caring for them well and folks who know more than I do, and that's never a bad thing. Bee club, here I come!