Monday, November 10, 2014

watching a bee hatch

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Late yesterday afternoon while visiting one of our hives we watched a bee hatching.

It had been one of those messy mornings when the girls wanted to do anything else but farming and be anywhere else but outside, and I felt disappointed and took it personally and found it difficult to give up the idyllic picture I'd had in my head of how we'd spend the day. But eventually I did give up and after an hour or so of broad-bean picking and shelling, we went our three separate ways; one into town, one to my parents' house and us three to visit the bees.

Even though we've had our own bee hives now for a few years, I still mostly feel like a beginner bee-keeper. It's like when we put on our suits, light the smoker and crack open the first hive, we enter a whole other world. And even though I'm not really scared of being stung, I am constantly aware of doing the right thing by the bees. Often I don't even realise until we come home and get our bee gear off how filled with adrenaline I've been. Bees are buzzy and their hives vibrate with activity and by opening them up we are exposing them and you can feel their tension. And we've noticed that different hives seem to have different personalities. We have one particular one that always feels frantic while some of the others are much calmer.

Late yesterday afternoon we visited one of our calmer hives. We cracked open the lid, slowly pulled out a few frames to see what was going on, and on one of the frames closer to the centre we found a bee hatching out of its cell.

It was such an incredible experience to see it nibble its way out of the capping. First came the feelers, waving around and then the head. After a bit more wriggling it went back inside and turned around and tried again from a different direction. And then the whole bee wandered out. A brand new, light grey coloured bee.

What a buzz!! It felt like such a privilege watching that bee's story unfold.

All three of us were so excited about what we had just witnessed as we closed the hive up, collected the honey frames we had swapped from another hive and drove up to the house.

And later on as I heard Miss Pepper tell the story of the hatching baby bee first to her grandparents and then to each of her sisters, I realised that it was OK that they hadn't wanted to come along. This is their world, they are SURROUNDED by bee keeping and veggie growing and bio dynamic stirring on all sides. It makes sense that they need some time out, that they need to find their own passions, and it makes sense that they just want to socialise on their weekends too. I just hope Miss Pepper remains our farm loving, animal cuddling, bee-keeping girl for many years to come.

Check out this link if you want to see some great pictures and info about the bee's life cycle.

And may your news be good news.

Lots of love

xx


26 comments:

  1. What a lovely way to spend your time. Thanks for the link about the life cycle of a bee. Such a miraculous process that produces something so everyday.

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    1. Isn't that link wonderful!
      I've had it open on my desktop for days.
      I can't stop looking at it. x

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  2. Looks so yummy! Isn't fresh honey the best? I get it from a local beekeeper at the markets sometime. Soo good!

    Take care
    Anne
    http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.de

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    1. I think fresh, local honey really is the best.

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  3. I so love the way you live your lives. Thanks for the bee link, I found it fascinating xx

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  4. We keep bees too and the whole subject is just fascinating. You are right about each hive having it's own personality. My husband attributes it to the queen in that hive. My experience of bee-keeping was short-lived as the bees seem to sense my nervousness and I ended up being stung 18 times. I also reacted to the stings and didn't feel too well for several days.

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    1. Holy moly 18 times!!!
      You poor thing.
      No wonder you've retired from bee keeping.
      I hope you can still enjoy the honey.

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  5. Your bees look fascinating & beautiful Kate. Can you take photos in your bee suit or were you standing back a little? I hope you are having a lovely week x

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    1. I took these photos very clumsily in my honey sticky gloves.
      In the past I've taken my hood and gloves off to take photos but this time I couldn't stay out of the action long enough. xx

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  6. Have you read the Margaret Atwood 'MaddAdam' trilogy? I love all of her work, but this series has a character who keeps bees, and she talks to them.
    :)

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    1. I haven't read it but I'm adding it to mu queue.
      Thanks so much for the recommendation Tash x

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  7. So awesome and great photography, Missus. Your bees are very lucky to be part of the family, I think. x

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    1. I think you're awfully sweet to me Miss Bron, thank you xx

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  8. I love your bee posts! I find bees so fascinating, and one day hope to have my own hives.

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    1. I have a feeling you will have your own bees before too long Miss Clare x

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  9. That sounds like an awesome day, even with the hiccups. Don't take it personally. I did, still do, even though I know it doesn't change anything - just makes me, and them, feel bad.

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    1. Thanks Katie, I really am trying my hardest not to. xx

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  10. That is just so interesting to me. I love reading about beekeeping, though I could never do it because I have an allergy. I enjoyed your photos too. I'm glad the day went so well overall.

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  11. Earlier this year I read somewhere that eating LOCAL honey everyday would help with hayfever symptoms, so I bought a few jars from the man in the local op shop who has bees and yes it really, really helped. I had the odd discomfort, but was not miserable for weeks on end with itchy eyes, running nose, itchy face, and constant weariness.
    I just buy a kilo at a time wherever I see nice honey, but will be buying local from now on.

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  12. I'd love to get bees ... once we settle down in our house maybe!

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  13. What an amazing story! Thank you very much for sharing! :)

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  14. What is they say? "Nature - cheaper than therapy"

    If I'm having a moment I find myself drawn to my chickens. Although my humble attempts at farming & veggie growing are microscopic compared to yours; I still hold immeasurable gratitude for the lessons that nature gives me. I remember my teenage son having one of his "distant" days and me feeling rather hard done by - then as I fed my chooks that afternoon he emerged from the house with a cup of tea and a few biscuits for me - we sat and watched the girls scratching and fussing - we chatted - we connected. nature ♥♥♥♥♥

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  15. Just came from Little Woollie's blog and spotted your bee post, lovely. I too keep bees and have for several years and still feel like a newbie, and still find them very fascinating! Most of mine are in top bar hives we made ourselves. Happy adventures in bee keeping!

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  16. Oh wow. That would be such an awesome thing to witness. Bees are magical.

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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