Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nature is Resilient

The other day, our friends came over with their three-year old son.  He's a cutie, but he's really active.  And man, he loves his trains.

We have this big flowerpot that was here when we moved in.  I have no idea what was in it before, but last summer I planted some nasturtiums.  They're annuals, so I wasn't expecting to see them again, but the other day we were out working on the yard, and there they were!

See those heart-shaped leaves?  Nasturtiums!  Crazy, right?  They must have just re-seeded themselves.  Awesome.

But back to the friends' son and his trains.  All of a sudden, his parents noticed he was driving his trans around IN my flower pot, over and through the nasturtiums.  Guess what?  It's still kickin'!

Another example... last summer, Eric & I bought a second blackberry plant.  We planted it too late, and it seemed dead as a doornail.  This spring, I pulled it out of the ground like a plug, a solid, dead root ball.  But I left it in place, just because I was on my way into the house from work and didn't have time to trash it right then.

Boy, am I glad for my tendency toward procrastination!  This weekend I went to pull it out... and ended up putting it right back!  There were new, young roots and leaves growing from the base of the blackberry.  Talk about resilient!

Holy crow!  You have no idea how happy I am that I was a lazy slacker and hadn't yet thrown away the blackberry bush.  I love blackberries.  Love.  They're my favorite berry.  So losing it, especially unnecessarily, would just be sad.

So now I'm hoping that all of nature is just as resilient... like our bees.

When Eric and I did our weekly inspection of the hive on Memorial Day, we found this.

For those of you who  may not be well versed in the world of the honeybee, that frame of honeycomb is wrong.  We're still learning ourselves, for sure, but I had a feeling it just wasn't right... and I was correct.  The brood (those white-filled cells you see and the ones with little white dots in the bottom are larvae and pupae) are supposed to be clustered together, as are the capped cells and cells filled with pollen or honey.  Instead, this looks scattered, like a shotgun.

I mentioned this all last week.

I immediately posted the photo to our local beekeeping FB page, and was informed that we had a dead or failing queen.  Yikes!  So the very next evening, I was picking up a brand new queen and the beekeepers association president came on over to help us try and find the prior queen if she was still alive (we didn't, she's dead), and install the new one.

She went into the hive with her attendants, still in their cage.  And then this past Saturday, we went back into the hive.  Although they were definitely investigating, it didn't look like they had been biting the cage, which would be a sure sign that the old queen still lived or that they generally weren't accepting the newbies (haha, newbees!) so we released them.

You can totally tell the difference between the old crew and the new, as our original bees were really dark.  The new ones are very blond Cordovans.


Again, it looked a lot more like investigation than attack.  The queen went immediately into the comb, hopefully to start laying.  But at least she didn't seem to want to stick with her girls for protection.  And the next morning, I saw one of the blonds returning to the hive with pollen-packed legs.

I take this as a good sign that "business as usual" has resumed in the colony.

The toughest part now is waiting for this weekend to check in on them!  But we must.  So... until then, fingers crossed for the resilience of nature and its extension to our girls.

1 comment:

Debbi Huntington said...

nature is never know what might come up. my son and I started some pumpkin seeds, and in less then a week, they are ready for the garden.

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