To keep with the emergent bee theme (bzzz), I thought I’d add a little note about finding and identifying ‘our’ bees around the property.
What we’ve realized over the past few weeks, particularly as it’s gotten warmer so the bees are flying around more (and farther away from their hive), is that we can identify ‘our’ bees in the meadow, vegetable garden, landscaping beds, and elsewhere–basically anywhere there are blooming flowers. There are, of course, many different kinds of bees. Honey bees do not look the same, for instance, as big bumblebees (perhaps the stereotypical ‘bee’). Ron especially knows what to look for.
Recently we’ve noticed lots of bees loving the purple flowers on several cat mint plants in the southern landscaping beds. Many bees flying and buzzing around one plant, but Ron has been able to pick out which bees are ‘ours.’
Of course, they aren’t really ‘ours.’ Yes, we bought them, drove them from Binghamton, kept them in the garage for a few (cold) days, and then put them in their new top-bar hive home. They have a long home range (3 miles comes to mind, but I can’t recall). But now the bees are really doing their own thing. And bees are known to swarm (fly off in a big group to a new home after scouts have identified a better location). We certainly can’t keep thousands and thousands of bees from leaving. For the moment, most of them are buzzing about and coming back to the hive, making combs, reproducing, and stockpiling honey for the winter. Hopefully they’ll stay put–and not die this coming winter.
In the meantime, we’ll watch them in the clover, daisies, cat mint, and other plants, doing their bee thing.