I had a lovely day that started out with a phone call with my artist support group. I love them all!! Then I went to help out some non-artists with their art projects to get them ready for an art show at the end of February. Then, I went to work (blech) but it was necessary and then I ended the day with a 3 hour meeting and socializing at a beekeeping club. We have the Warré hive which my housemate calls the “no worry” hive and I call it the “set it and forget it” hive. It requires a lot less maintenance than the standard industry hive called Langstroth hive. I’ve been going to the meetings and there seems to be a lot of maintenance that they do and they also seem to suffer from a lot of diseases and pest problems too… not that other types of hive are immune from them, but other hives that mimic a more natural setting and thus focus less on honey production, seem to be able to manage the diseases and pest problems on their own. That said, a woman in my neighborhood has a Warre hive as well. She had two actually and one of them got robbed and so didn’t survive. So she took down the boxes and got some of the combs to show us (and to her students as she is also a teacher).
I don’t have bees yet. I just have the hive. I feel like I need to educate myself better before I obtain the hive, but now after that meeting, I feel better and inspired to get bees soon.
This drawing shows what a queen cell looks like. In a natural setting, bees make their own combs and do not need a template like the ones in a Langstroth hive. This way, bees make as many cells and the size they need on their own and adjust appropriately, based on their colony needs. They know how to do this instinctively. It is amazing. The queens, drone and brood cells are all different in sizes. They size of their cells if, they make it on their own, and not based on a template, is a bit customized so that only they can get into their cells, and any Varroa mite that lands on them gets brushed off as they enter their cells, because the cells are not big enough to accommodate the Varroa mite too.
Ok, I’ll stop nerding out on bees now.
Here’s the drawing (finally!):