29 April 2013

Honeybees Come Build...

We brought two new packages of bees home -- they're Carniolians, just up from the almond pollination in California, so now we have three hives on the Bee Pavilion.
The quotations are from a bee book that Dierdre gave me (the origin of bees is from Paradise), Emily Dickenson, and W.B. Yeats. The bees are happily exploring their new world. Bees are such a responsibility -- it's exciting to have them and one worries about them too. Worry about the bees serves as a proxy for the big worries (the earth, climate change, the Pacific Garbage gyre, and the whole nightmare of western civ). But the bees are industrious, productive, single-minded, and determined, setting a good example of perseverance. That's why I love the Yeats poem so much -- the bees continuing, bringing sweetness even during a civil war...

The bees build in the crevices
Of loosening masonry, and there
The mother bird brings grubs and flies.
My wall is loosening; honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

04 April 2013

Bee Pavilion

Spring is coming! We lost our big purple hive over the winter. Now the pink/blue hive, which seemed less impressive last summer, is getting into gear, bringing in alder and dandelion pollen for the young bees.
Bob designed, and Alistair built, this amazing bee pavilion.
At left, the hive with the old roofshed -- the little roof helps keep the entrance dry and reduces moisture inside the hive, which seems to help keep the hive healthy in our wet winter climate. At right, the new bee pavilion, with room for 6 or more hives on the low stand, and a roof over all.

Here's a detail of the construction. The base of both stand and roof is concrete blocks; there's no foundation.
It's since been painted, and bee-friendly plants will be added around the stand. More pictures when the rain quits.