Monday, December 14, 2009

Bee's Eye's View

Hello Bee Fans! This post will be all about my bees and how they are special creatures. I promise I will not make any stupid "bee" references. Though it is fun to do on a rainy day when you feel the crayztimers setting in.
As many of you may know, my bees made an arduous journey from Leschi to East Wenatchee a couple of weekends ago. Prior to booking their travel, the bees suffered by being alone in Leschi while there were several murderous attacks on mankind and its safety. I was glad I was not there, but I still do love the place where the bees first were hived.
Here are some Bee Facts to help you understand these creatures of the hive:

1. The honey bee has been around for 30 million years.
2. It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
3. Honey bees are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
4. They are insects with a scientific name - Apis mellifera.
5. They have 6 legs, 2 eyes, and 2 wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.
6. The honeybee's wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
7. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles - three times around the globe - to make one pound of honey.
8. The average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
9. It takes about 556 workers to gather 1 pound of honey from about 2 million flowers.
10. It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
11. A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
12. A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen.
13. Worker honey bees are female, live 6 to 8 weeks and do all the work.
14. The queen bee lives for about 2-3 years and is the only bee that lays eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
15. The male honey bees are called drones, and they do no work at all, have no stinger, all they do is mating.
16. Each honey bee colony has a unique odour for members’ identification.
17. Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting. Queens have a stinger, but don’t leave the hive to help defend it.
18. It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are required to be fatal.
19. Honey bees communicate with one another by "dancing".
20. During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.

The Voyage
We started off the morning of moving by arriving a good 30-40 minutes before the bee barge arrived for transport. This allowed us to fully appreciate the fact that it was indeed "cold as shit" outside. I munched on an almond croissant from Belle Epicurean. SomeONE declined to eat breakfast, and thus was cranking the entire morning. That same person was extremely helpful and considerate throughout the entire process. eh heh heh.
As soon as my fellow comrades arrived, we set to work, strapping each hive down with a pair of inexpensive ratchet straps purchased at Costco. This ensured that the bees would not spill into an angry rage in my mom's car (aka the bee barge). They were also covered with an extra precautionary sheet. I am sure if the bees did get through the foam we stuffed in the entrances, they would have been confused and disorientated with the flower covered sheet that surrounded them.

I cannot say how the tension was on the drive over, as I was not in the car. However, I am told the bees were calmed by relaxing to 98.1 fm and the sound of Brad Eaton's voice.

Here are the bees in more prosperous times:

Here are some of the Bees' current views:

Here we are standing near the new homestead. As you can see, there are some ramshackle bees in the background. My hopes are they are kind and considerable neighbors. Stay tuned for Hunny Updates 2010 in the Spring!

1 comment: