Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Creeping Bees

creeping beeMy roof is a place of creeping bees, with dozens and dozens of them wandering about yesterday, and only a few trundling around today. The weather got cold last week, and yesterday the temperature got warm (up to 60 degrees F), so you might expect to see the girls out and aloft, but it's not clear to me what all this ambling means.

When it got cold, they formed a cluster inside their hives and probably did not go outside for days and days. The warm weather might have caused something a lot like what happens when you shampoo your hair after skipping a couple of days (let's just say you were camping, or perhaps holed up in a Parisian hotel in some kind of ardent 48-hour embrace). The tangle in the drain might convince you that you are going bald, but it is just the concentration of several days' deceased fall-out. Perhaps all those dozens of creepy crawly bees are the concentrated remains of the summer bees, finishing their 6-week run all at once. It's a little late, but until just 12 days ago it was a little warm.

But there might be another explanation or two, something other beekeepers have mentioned. Perhaps there is a problem mite infestation after all, or some kind of toxic exposure. Or perhaps (and I am sure this will come as a surprise...) it is my fault, that these are the bees who were weakened by our trip to the TV studio in non-optimal weather.

Well, I have medicated for everything, and what's done is done. Please though, if you have any pull with the authorities, put in a good word for my poor struggling Wilde Carniolan girls.

During the warm weather on Sunday, the bees were with me as I raked the leaves and cleaned the garden out front. It's like they had nothing to do, and needed to investigate the undersides of the leaves, the rhythm of the rake, and the cuts where I pruned off dead and dying branches and fronds. MaryEllen says her bees have been investigating her ears while she washes her car in the drive way. As proof that I listen to what she tells me, I dreamt about ear bees last night. Bonus: I also dreamt that I got a place to put three more colonies next year!

how to feed a beeFinally, to close the day, one of the creeping bees showed up in the bathroom. It's become easy to tell the buzz of a lost girl from the whine of a fly. It was far too late to put her outside, so I gave her a meal of honey-on-a-stick and put her in a box with a damp kleenex for the night. She was still alive in the morning, and I set the whole box outside. In an hour, she was gone: whether to home or the sunset, I do not know.

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