Friday, May 7, 2010

Honey Bees, Waxy Start

Some of you may know I have started to keep bees. This is an amazing human experience. I am learning so much about these little creatures. I have taken classes, watched videos and read the books. To actually see these creatures in person, doing their pollen dance, seeing worker bees eat their way through the wax to come into life to start collecting pollen and create a strong hive is just beyond words. I hope that you enjoy the photos and the development of the hives in the future months and years.
There are a few reason for why I have started to keep bees. I had to opportunity to keep bees, so I took it. I come from a long line of family farmers. My roots are from Iowa. My beloved Grandma Mullen was a farmer. I recently found out that the farm would rent bees to pollinate the crops. I also found out that one of my friends grandfathers used to rent his bees to farmers and he would travel from land to land with his bees and pollinate the crops, that in turn feeds us all and keeps us healthy, moving, productive humans. Very awesome. So here I am, helping out where I can and although I am not traveling from farm to farm, I will be helping out just a little with the crops that grow around the Santa Cruz mountains. An additional reason, is that I paint with bees wax. I'm excited to be able to produce my own wax from the honey bees.
The honeycomb that I have photographs of here, fell off of one of the frames. The bees built an additional section that attached to one of the frames. I left some space in between two of the frames and so they built an extra, home. Im learning so much along the way. So when I went to pick up that frame and lifted it in the air to check for the brood, the whole thing fell off. BOOM! Just like that, then all of a sudden all the bees started buzzing louder, I got a little nervous, but thank goodness for that bee suit. All of a sudden I had bees going for my face on my hands and this beginner bee keeper wasn't sure what to do. I remembered that I can not have the hive open for too long, so I scrapped off any additional wax and I placed the top back on to the hive and I watched the bees that fell of this additional comb do their thing. I crouched there with the pine trees looking over my shoulder, as we all watched and listened to the sweet honey bees.

So now I have my first set of wax, and I am very excited to create my first painting with my first wax!

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