I will be planting as many of these as I can next year to give my bees an extra hit of pollen before winter, that’s for sure.
First of all, photographing honey bees and doing it well boils down to 90% bad luck and 10% good luck. The bees in some of these photos are out of focus. Too bad.
Second of all, the colour red in these poppies doesn’t seem real to me. On film, it looks almost fake. But it’s real.
And I forgot my third point, but check out these poppies (click the images for a better view, unless you’re reading this on a cell phone):
On this Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada), I’m thankful I’m not a male honey bee.
Canadian Thanksgiving Day is the traditional time of year when drones are expelled from honey bee hives, pestered to leave until they die, though I’ve seen drones kicked out of the hive as early as August.
I know many beekeepers who feed their bees sugar syrup in the fall and stop feeding after the first frost.
We got our first hit of heavy frost this morning. If I followed hard and fast beekeeping rules, I would stop feeding now.
Honey bees poop on cars and nobody ever talks about it. We’re all too busy idealising beekeepers to notice it. But they do. My bees poop all over my neighbours’ cars in the spring after holding it in all winter. Cars, clothes hanging on the line, living room windows — they all take a hit, and it’s not always easy to clean off. Furthermore, not everybody likes it, especially in suburban areas where people often demand that their tax dollars protect them from having to deal with things like bee poop. So look out.
Here’s a video that shows how I clean bee poop off my car. (If this video doesn’t change the course of Western Civilisation, I don’t know what will.) I get up to go to work and the cold dew on the car somehow seems to lift the poop right off the car, poop that is normally super-glued to anything it touches. I simply wipe it off. If I have to get up early from time to time to wipe the bee poop off my neighbours’ cars, well, that’s what good neighbours do.
Winter is a good time to learn about beekeeping before taking the plunge. The Beekeeper’s Handbook might be the best guide to beekeeping I’ve come across. I only recently picked it up because I kept hearing how if there’s one book new beekeepers should have, this is the one. I’m not getting paid to say this, but I second that recommendation.