Monday, February 24, 2014

for the bees

"He is not worthy of the Honey-comb,
That shuns the Hives because the Bees have stings"

- attributed to William Shakespeare

Warmer weather came early this year, causing an early bee swarming season. Last week, 15,000 worker bees and their queen swarmed, huddled, and started to build comb and make honey under our eaves. They were industrious neighbors, keeping themselves to themselves. Unfortunately, as they were Africanized honey bees (otherwise known as "killer bees") they could not stay. Africanized bees are wonderful pollinators and make fine honey, but they are also known to swarm, and kill animals and people.

Swarms like this one can't be removed and relocated to a beekeeper's hive as they are capricious, and will often abandon a hive as the mood takes them. Our bees had to be killed by a visiting bee man. A sad day.