Bee’s Adventures, Inara’s Garden
My friend Julia
just asked me how many pets I owned. I had to think about it for a bit and then I told her: over 60,000!!! You see, about a year ago, my mum bought two beehives and along with two dogs, the 50 chickens, and two guinea pigs, we take care of a lot of creatures.
When we still lived in Richmond, we used to have one hive in our backyard but another beekeeper took care of it. We got a bottle of honey in return. Now, we have lots of space and since we just planted an acre of blueberries, we need bees to pollinate the fruit so we can eat lots of fruit!
My mum knows lots about veggies but not so much about bees so she joined the Comox Valley Bee Keepers. It’s a really nice group – I met a bunch of people at a bee dance at the Little Red Church back in May. That’s when it was International Day of the Bee. I dressed up as a bee. I wore yellow and black clothes and put antennae on my toque.
Bees are pretty cool.
I like to eat honey so that already makes them great. I like to just look at them too. They fly around, looking for food all day. I also like eating food and without honeybees, we wouldn’t have food, especially fruits and vegetables.
We made a really good friend at the bee club named Loubos.
He has been keeping bees for many years and comes by and checks on ours from time to time. My mum asked him to come over and help make bee boxes and show us how to wire the wax into the frames. While he was here, we all looked into our hives and he helped us clean the excess wax and look for queen cells.
At this time of the year,
bees can get really crowded in their hives and they naturally want to split their hive and find a new place to live. They start by creating queen cells. I googled this and apparently, once a queen larvae hatches, the nurse bees feed her royal jelly. When she comes out, she’s a queen! Now, two queens can’t live in the same hive together (kind of like how my sister and I can’t share a room).
The old queen takes a group of bees out of the hive and when they follow her, it’s called a swarm. We looked for these queen cells when we were checking our hives and didn’t find any. But they day after we looked, my mum when into our orchard and found this: a huge swarm!!
She was kind of freaked out
but the bees were actually really calm. Before bees swarm they eat lots and lots of honey and they’re so full, they don’t really want to sting any one. We had just made some new bee boxes so mum took a box and put it under the swarm. She then took out a big mallet and hit the branch that the swarm was on. A bunch of bees fell into the box. And, that was it! We caught a swarm. Now we have 3 hives.
That’s the thing about keeping creatures. They multiply J