Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cry Murder!

Everybody has to eat right?  But often one creature's dinner is a fresh kill.

When watching nature shows I'd feel sorry for the poor wildebeest or zebra being chased by the hungry lion.  Then they'd show the baby lion cubs and I'd feel for them too.  After all they were just hungry and Mom was trying to feed them.  Everybody has to eat don't they?

Nevertheless, it's still killing isn't it?

This brings me to report that I returned to the bee yard after three or four days.  My plan was to check on the small swarm that was living in a medium super.  A few days ago I shook them out of their hive only to find they had a queen.  Their equipment quickly reassembled and them back inside I fed them sugar water.

I did have the foresight to protect them.  I reduced all entrances down to a tiny keyhole.  I knew the yard was in a robbing mode--between blooms from summer into fall--and I had given them sugar water to help give them a boost.  With a tiny entrance they should be able to defend themselves easily.

Or so I thought.

In hindsight I should probably have removed the hive from the yard and brought it home.  Or maybe just let it go since they were so small.

When I removed the inner cover I couldn't see any bees at all.  I hefted the super to look from underneath but once I had raised it I saw what had happened.

They were all dead.  Their bodies were spread all over the floor of the hive.  Actually I should say their body parts.  All that was left was their heads and legs.  They had been eaten.

I'm pretty certain they fell victim to wasps or hornets--those omnivores that were over hungry at the end of summer.  It was only last week that I discovered they had a lovely little queen.  Then I had to be out of town a few days.

It was a sad homecoming.
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