Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Day After ~ Orientation Day

The bee yard is abuzz with lots of winged ladies taking orienting flights just outside the new hive. They're do this to learn where their new home is so that they can begin to go out and forage for nectar and pollen and find their way home. Since their original home is right next door I wonder if they're experiencing deja vu. Only problem...they're also conducting these flights in front of the old hive too. My best guess is that the bees from the swarm are drifting over to their old hive. If were lucky, really lucky, we'll end up with enough bees in each hive to continue their important work of feeding babies and storing food. I'm feeling lucky and don't expect to find a queen all alone in the new hive...those queen pheromones are simply irresistable.
Spider Eating Bee (Hint: Double-click for a close up)

This picture was taken yesterday when we noticed, in the midst of the excitement of swarm chasing, that a garden spider was feasting on one of our bees. It took a moment to reflect on nature's delicately balanced food chain and not take it personally that a spider was lunching on one of our bees. As the circle of life has it, that bee will nourish that spider that will in turn do wonderful things for that sunflower in our garden. That sunflower will give us visual pleasure for a time and in turn provide the goats succulent sustenance,  and maybe leave a few seeds for the chickens if they're lucky!

The cycles of life are self-evident in our little yard lately. Saturday we trimmed a holly tree that was casting shade on the garden only to learn that it contained a bird's nest with new born babies in it. Sadly they didn't survive the trauma even after we perched the reconstructed nest in the crotch of the same tree. Ravens quickly found and decimated what remained. Later that day we found a very much alive nest of baby birds in our chicken shed. One nest of baby birds perishes, another will live. And so it goes...

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