Saturday, May 12, 2012


Not sure if I posted about this before, but when we first moved in we had an old cooler that didn't work well.  It sat on the veranda as we sorted out our stuff.  When I got around to moving it I noticed a little wax tunnel going into the drain.  Some very tiny honey bees had taken up residence.  It took a bit of maneuvering to get the cooler off the porch to under the house.  If we went too far, they'd not find it and start over somewhere else.  They swarmed around a bit and I have to mention that they don't sting, and eventually found their home again.  Last year we got a large bottle of honey from them, but we just opened it up and found that one side had gotten too hot from the sun and had scorched a large area.  We only got about 1 1/2 cups this time.  

This has been so interesting to me as the honey bees in the N.W. are the large, yellow and black, bumble bees.  They deposit their honey in combs.  These little buys create little beads, the size of a small marble to store their honey.  Rene helped me remove the beads, which I squeezed and set to drain on a rack.  Not hard, just messy.  

These photos aren't very clear, but the surprising thing to us was that it appears that there are two different groups using the same cooler as there was a queen at the bottom and a second one at the top.  She's ensconced in a circular bit of tiny comb, behind the waxy leaf shapes.  Rene told me the leaflike material is insulation.  I'm learning more fascinating things.  

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