Greetings, friends of Ffynnon Farm. We have some exciting news! This year we are adding bee hives to our farm. We have started with three hives in our apiary which is located next to our veggie fields. In this first year we will see how the ladies handle local conditions and what the honey crop tastes like, given the local 'terroir'.
"Swarm in May, a load of hay. Swarm in June, a silver spoon. Swarm in July, not worth a fly." That's the rhyme that tells the relative value of swarms that inevitably arise when the beekeeper uses a less invasive approach to beekeeping. This first year we are not opening the hives and killing new queen cells. Quite the opposite! Swarms are a hives way of reproducing, and a natural part of the hive life cycle. We've had our first swarm already, about a week ago. The queen flew her swarm waaay up into a fir tree, well beyond reach. I saw that she hadn't completely settled in there and, following advice passed along in story and song, I sang to her. I sang of her flight and the golden sun. I sang of searching for a safe new home for her in her wandering. I sang of the sweetness of new life and promised I would offer all these things to her - if she would only come down.
I went away for a while to work in the fields. When I returned not only had she come lower, she had alighted upon the ground! I quickly suited up and took her and her swarm a fresh hive and set it gently on the ground next to them. Within seconds they were pouring into the new hive and making it their own. It sits proudly next to the original three and I hope she is enjoying the new digs!
So here's to ancient wisdom and singing to the bees. Not only are bees the least likely to sting when they swarm, they readily accept a new space if it is presented to them. We welcome our gals home and hope for a sweet bounty come, honey harvest time.
Blessings of the bees for everyone! Very blessed bee!