Wednesday, September 2, 2009

guest pic

This picture comes to you courtesy of Todd, a fellow newbie to the world of beekeeping. He and I, along with a few others, met at Little City Farm when we attended a small workshop on beekeeping. Those few of us that went on to take a more in-depth course at the Townsend House, University of Guelph, keep in touch on a semi-regular basis. We thought it might reduce the collective number of painful mistakes, if we could share our newbie experiences with the group of us. Still, we've all had our own 'learning moments', and it's been good to grow together in this endeavor.

Anyway, back to the pic - this was Todd's experiment: he tried using some top bars, rather than frames with foundation, to allow bees to build their own comb. This method is used by beekeepers who want to go even more natural with the bees. Unfortunately it seems these bees were a bit confused, and started to build from the bottom frames up, instead of heading up to the top and building from the top down like they would normally do in nature. I asked Todd if I could use the pic, because I think the comb is pretty. Functional? No. I would tear it up too, as Todd did, but I like this pic because it represents the more wild and natural side of the bees. It's a good reminder that the bees are still wild creatures, after all our attempts at "domestication", and they do have minds of their own, however small.