Artemis Hives: Year IV

Beltane                                                            Beltane Moon

Bees have begun to add brood, the northern colony a bit faster than the southern.  I noticed today that some of the bees have very small eyes relative to the others, I imagine these are nursery bees, 1-14 days old.  They perform caretaking functions for the larvae.

As a result of last year’s hair raising end, I’m much more deliberate in all phases of approaching the colonies:  smoke, veil, gloves, smooth slow movements.

This year I notice I’m taking more time to observe.  Today I noticed two bees head to head flicking their antennae back and forth.  I noticed another fanning its wings, cooling down the hive.  Many had their head entirely in the cells, butts sticking up, wiggling and moving to the side as other workers passed their spots. The queens still prove elusive.  Someday I’m going to learn how to find them.

One patch of laid down brood is so beautiful, the foundation is a faint yellow and the caps are tan, held up with the sun at the back the incubating cells glow.  Returning workers with pollen and nectar add to the colonies’ stores, half filled yellow cells for pollen, shimmering honey in others.

This year the whole process seems more peaceful, less fraught.  The fourth year round so I’ve learned a few things, am not so anxious.  Now I can take in the wonder of the hive. Perhaps this year I’ll learn more about the bees themselves, read some of the books I purchased.

 

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