We've Got Bees Again

My wife has been keeping bees for a few years now, but we haven’t had any for the last year due to various circumstances. She just this weekend acquired a new swarm from a beekeeping friend of hers and placed them in our front garden. This is just a temporary hive, she’ll move them into a bigger one once they’ve got acclimated. The very next morning (they got moved at night when they are all in the hive and docile) they were out and busy as, um, bees.

Bees are pretty interesting little creatures. When you move the location of the physical hive you have to move it either less than five feet or more than five miles. Anywhere in between this and they get confused and can’t find the hive after they return from pollen-gathering excursions.

We saw this for real one time with an older hive when we moved the box about seven feet. Sure enough, the bees flew around it but couldn’t “see” it, and didn’t go back inside. We moved it back toward its previous location a couple of feet and all was well again.

It seems strange, but perhaps humans aren’t so different. We are OK with small incremental changes, and we’ll spring into action when there’s a crisis, but middling changes that are significant yet not enormous we often struggle with.