Saturday, February 15, 2020

How One Little Bee Saved Her Entire Hive


The greenhouse pansies are still going strong.  This is no surprise as the winter has been fairly warm other than a few odd days here and there like the last two nights when it went down into the mid teens.  The sun came out this morning, so I cracked the door open about 3/4" for some ventilation.  

As I headed to the house for lunch I stopped in to see how the blooms had weathered the cold snap and check to see is anyone needed some water.  I was completely surprised to see one of Stella's honey bees in there working!  It was 40 degrees and pretty breezy.  Way too cold in my mind for a bee to be out and that far from home.  

It's not unusual for bees to break their cluster on warm winter days and fly out to do some house cleaning and early foraging.  I worried though, as the winter weather has been so crazy, that maybe they had used up their winter stores and decided to run up and check.

While you should never open a hive under 50 degrees, you can lift up the intact hive and check the weight.  I knew heading into winter that I could barely lift it.  It should still be pretty heavy.  If not, they might be running low on honey and appreciate some sugar syrup.

As I approached the hive though I found an even bigger problem.  The over saturated ground had given way under one of the concrete blocks it sits on and the hive was in immediate danger of toppling over.  Even with a ratchet strap around the hive bodies, a fall would surely have cracked open the hive bodies, exposing the bees to cold, wet weather, surely killing them.

It took some doing, but Stella's son and grandson helped me get it reset on two new stable blocks.  By the time we got that accomplished I decided not to disturb them any further by checking their weight.  Stella's going to cook some syrup to set out in the morning and if they don't actually need it, they might just appreciate a little treat.  

I'm not sure if the greenhouse bee made it back up the hill.  I sure hope she did.  I wish I'd thought to capture her in a cup and carry her home just to make sure.  She's a pretty clever bee though and while she was most likely just down here looking for flowers, there's a little part of me that believes she came down to tell me I needed to go fix her hive.  


17 comments:

JaneJMtl said...

Wow, what an amazing story! I’m so glad you decided to go and check on Stella’s hive. (And just between you and me, there’s no doubt in my mind that the bee knew she could count on you for help.)

Auntie Reg said...

For sure. That Bee remembered you helping it’s hive last fall. After all
Stella has the smartest bees ��

Lady Locust said...

And so good of you to go check rather than waiting or putting it off - otherwise 😧 So glad you were able to help.

Alice said...

What a delightful story! I believe you are the earth angel to those bees. There’s a reason the lone bee caught your eye and the rest is due to your unique instinct and sharing your heart with the bees. A sweet Valentines story indeed!❤️😊

sophy0075 said...

Hooray for that bee! Set out a special sweet treat among the pansies. Unless your weather turns even colder tomorrow, I bet she’ll be back; perhaps even with a sister or two.

Sheepmom said...

A great story with a good ending. It's important to pay attention and take action the moment you feel the need to do it. You saved a whole hive by caring!

I need orange said...

So glad you thought to go check on the hive, and a good thing you had some muscle to help you get it stabilized!

Anchor Cottage said...

Glad to have your presence here on earth.

Goatldi said...

I have a small group of hummers at my new home. One I greet every morning returns my greeting (in hummer of course) and also becomes very aggressive every time I walk out front when the feeder needs replacing and also when the song birds feeder is low and the longer it takes me to refill the more insistent my hummer is. So your little messenger bee knew exactly where it could fly be safe and get some attention from someone. All creatures speak in their own way we just often don’t listen.

knitski said...

I would say that little bee came down looking for help and like many a wayward animal that finds you in some way she was right on the money! Or spot on he honey!

Terry and Linda said...

I think you are right...she came to find you. And you listened and fixed her home!

Cheryl West said...

You are observant and thoughtful about the aspects of your farm and have now saved several more little, very valuable creatures.
Thank you.

Glenda said...

You are likely to grow weary of hearing me say this but . . . you never cease to amaze me. The world could use so many more folks like you.

LannieK said...

That little bee knew you'd fix their home ~ They are very observant!

katherine littrell said...

As I always say, there are no coincidences.😊🐝

Marsha said...

I’m a firm believer that there are no coincidences. Luckily you followed your instincts and saved the hive. Whew. I’m sure the bees are greatly relieved.

Far Side of Fifty said...

You and the bee saved the hive! Way to go!

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