Posts Tagged ‘apiculture’

1 Word Wednesday

20 January 2010

The word of the day is, “bogus” :

“If there is one color that is most decidedly not a classic Earth tone, one that is least associated with living things, it might just be neon blue.”  – Carol Kaesuk Yoon “Luminous 3-D Jungle Is a Biologist’s DreamNew York Times January 18, 2010

See also: Glaucus and Porpita, Blue Morpho, Sailfish, Blue-tailed Skink, William’s Electric Blue Gecko, a whole mess of Cichlids, Hyacinth Macaw, oh yeah and whatever the hell this is supposed to be.

Likewise, (watch to the end if you haven’t seen this before):


2 August 2007








N.B. – Bombus sp. + Eschscholzia californica
CA, summer of love, 2007.

‘Attack’ what?

2 August 2007

Tithonia BeeOh, never mind. This is Mellisodes something. What is it about bees anyway? perhaps it’s just the heat.

Apis Mania 5 : Three Little Bees

21 July 2007

Wood-, straw- and a mud-sealed nests made by wild bees and wasps.


You could shell out 25 quid for a solitary bee nesting block. Or, if you are as crafty as my housemate, you can just take a chunk of 4×4, drill some holes in it and nail it to a post. Or, you could be an idiot.

If you go with options 1 or 2, you’ll be supporting a diverse guild of critical plant pollinators who are fascinating to watch and often quite beautiful. If you go with option 3, well, you are an idiot, go away.


Freshly finished leaf-cutter bee nest.

iz in ur flower gathrn ur pollenz (or, ‘Apis-mania 4’)

10 June 2007


Apis-Mania III: Elegy

24 April 2006

Another entry for the ever-expanding senseless death file:

this poor little worker was no match for my serge de Nimes, for which I overpaid at target.

Ben, up from Los Angeles, likened the scene on my jeans to a suicide bombing. Sadly, this little bee didn't even save a Haldanian minimum of eight cousins.

But let us end on a positive note from blessed bee:

photo credit: Blessed-Bee Apiaries Inc.

Tis the season for bee petting, just head to your nearest lavender bush.

Apis-Mania 2.0

10 April 2006

Our neighbor was walking through her yard last Saturday evening when she noticed a sweater someone had left in her dwarf plum tree. Upon closer inspection the "sweater" was composed of thousands of small, moving pieces and was humming slightly.


A large swarm of honeybees, possibly a breakaway faction from one of our two hives, had tightly massed on the tree for the night. They selected a spot about to bed down only about five feet up in the plum tree, surprisingly low to the ground.

Swarm closeup

We made a few phone calls and found Jeff (from N street) who was looking for swarm to start a home hive. Jeff came out the next morning to collect the swarm. The cool overcast conditions and the swarm's proximity to the ground made it easier for Jeff and Chris to transfer the bulk of the swarm to Jeff's pre-prepped boxes.


Once the queen (unseen but somewhere at the center of the swarm) was in the box, a number of workers perched on the edge of the box and began to fan their wings furiously.

They were spreading pheromones to attract the remaining swarm-members who had been left behind on the tree. Say what will about the hive-mentality, but social insects sure have a remarkable knack at synergetics, thanks of course to the miracle of haplo-diploidy. Even more remarkable, is the ability of highly unrelated groups (namely humans and honeybees) to hash out a workable social contract. I think it's a big improvement from the Bad-Old-Days:


(postscript: In other good neighborly news, a pair of Swainson's Hawks, Buteo swainsoni, is building a nest in a pine tree down the street. I'm hoping they'll take care of the rats in our compost and save Mike the nasty work of pitchforking.)