Friday, March 25, 2011

Long live the queen!

Look closely at the photo above and you can see our queen: she's the one with the spot of light green on her back in the midst of a swirl of activity. Last Tuesday afternoon was an exciting time to be in the garden. After some high winds compromised the hive's integrity this winter, there were some lingering fears that the queen may not have survived the upset.

Slowly examining the hive, WYG beekeeper Toni Burnham gradually revealed clues of "queen rightness." Everyone was optimistic, but there was nothing quite like seeing her majesty in the flesh, lowering her large rear end into empty cells while her handmaidens hustled busily about her. We even witnessed the early moments of a brand new member of the hive, slowly breaking out of her cell, emerging into the world on gorgeous spring day.

Above: Toni cleans up the hive, scrapping off the food she had put in the hive to help them make it through the end of water.

Above: Kacie steps in to lend a hand with the spring cleaning.

Below: Winter's a tough time to be a bee. Fortunately, Chris constructed a brace to help protect the hive against future weather-related catastrophes.

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