Beeing Anointed
The swarm cluster grows a bit...

Beeing Anointed

I won’t lie: It’s been really hard starting this spring with no bees. This is only the second time in the past eight years that my yard has been without the wonder of honeybees. And I have not felt the sorrow of the loss of all five of my hives in a really obvious way. I tell myself that I understand: bees come, bees go. More will come. And more will go.

Empty and waiting!

I go about my business and tell myself, “it is okay, this is just how it is…” But there is a heaviness in my heart. On a few clear days about a week ago, many scout bees came to explore my hives, so many swirling about the entrances I could almost convince myself that a colony had moved in.

Until nightfall, I could court this hope, and then with the dark, they would all melt away into the evening. Then the clouds and rain returned and the hives have not had a single visitor… (more…)

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Swarm Crazy

Wing prepares to take flight.

It is swarm season again! Before I had bees, I watched swarm videos, took swarm catching classes, and read bee books about safely gathering swarming bees. Mostly, gathering a swarm is pretty simple. Except when it’s not. Let me share a bit of my last week with you, and you be the judge as to how easy or complex—or both—gathering a swarm of bees can be.

Nine days ago, on the first sunny day we have had for weeks, two of my hives—Wing, and Gobnait—swarmed. I was sitting with a friend in my yard, with my back to the bees when I heard it. I leaped to my feet shouting “Swarm!” before I even turned around to see them tumbling into the air. I have come to know that sound. That awesome sound that like no other kind that floods my heart in a rush of adrenaline.

Wing, my SunHive was in the air for a long time, swaying this way and that in the air, and finally settling inside a large bush in my neighbor’s yard. While the swarm was still gathering itself, I hurried to grab my swarm gear basket, called a bee friend who wanted to help, and rushed back to the yard with gathering buckets of various sizes, plus my skep that I planned to house them in… (more…)

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Viral Bees!
Climbing down with my precious bundle...

Viral Bees!

Who would have thought that 40,000 folks would find this little video we did so amazing. I thought everyone caught swarms like this? I share this because I really wanted to show how unaggressive bees can be. Yes, there are the swarms that are "stingy," but for the most part, they are full of honey, and very gentle. I'd so like to counter the media hype about dangerous "killer" bees. People are far too frightened of bees, and with little reason. Here at PBC, we try to spread the truth about bees: About their gentleness, generosity, and great importance to…

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