The last time I actively engaged in beekeeping was about a month before Ruby was born (so about 18 months ago or so). In the swirl of life the followed the arrival of one little bundle, I cannot remember exactly what the state of things was heading into that winter. I do know that none of the hives survived the winter but that some equipment remained out at the edge of the garden and wooded area. With such a small one in tow, I decided not to get any bees in 2013, but to wait and live vicariously through my mom’s bees. In the meantime, she helped pull in some of the hive bodies and supers but we didn’t get it all. In June, our little family moved, making it even easier to put off cleaning up the hive that stood out by the garden. One covered super and one full hive remained, all winter long. That long, epically cold, Polar Vortex of a winter. I was sure that in my neglect, wax moths and earwigs had taken over in the fall, and I was hoping the long winter had killed them off.
Which brings us today, a cold, yet springy day when I finally stopped procrastinating and went to collect the hive boxes. I was ready for a mess, maybe a mouse nest or two. The hive looked rather worse for wear, covered in insect poop. We lifted the lid and to my complete surprise, the soft hum of bees escaped.
I was shocked! I whooped, hollered, and even swore in front of my mother. There is a live and healthy hive!! It’s unlikely, though not impossible. My best guess is that a hive swarmed sometime last spring or early summer and found the vacant accommodations to their liking and set up house. I also wonder if the cold helped keep out the humidity, which can be harder on the bees the cold. And this just might be an opportunity to make it up to those bees to whom I neglected.
One thought on “The bees keep themselves”
Hurray for bees!!! They knew they had found a great home! You will have a busy buzzy Spring!