Twilight Zone

Life on our teeny tiny backyard farm has been weird lately. There isn’t really any better way to describe it. Odd, bizarre, backwards, off, abnormal. Weird. And it isn’t anything in particular. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel as if we have somehow floated into the Bermuda Triangle or the twilight zone or something. Maybe it’s the hot and cloudy weather throwing me through a loop. Weird I tell ya.

Yesterday I “processed” two rabbits all by myself. Trevor and Cami were in the garden. It was, and will probably forever be, a surreal experience. I used a pellet gun for ease, but I still like to sit there with the rabbit while it thrashes. I know it is gone, but it makes me feel better. Like the rabbit knows it has a friend there in those last moments. That alone sets an awkward feeling for the following few days.

This morning I went out to feed everyone as usual and noticed Philly digging around her cage. She was doing it yesterday as well so to see her mock-digging in her cage two days in a row is weird. When I gave her her daily hay, she promptly made a “haystache” (hay mustache) and ran around like a mad woman. So to appease her a little, I gave her a nest box with more hay in it. I really hope she is pregnant and is preparing for a litter, but I doubt it. I think it is a running joke between the rabbits around here to drive me crazy by pretending to be pregnant. Thanks bun buns, thanks.

20130415-162718.jpg

Then the bee thing. I’m sure you are all waiting on the verdict of the swarm incident on Friday. Well folks, honestly, we can’t figure that one out. I saw Hive #2 bearding (lots of bees piled up at the entrance to the hive) and when I went out to check on them, they flew off into the nearby tree. When Trevor did a hive inspection about an hour later, he found two queen cells and a healthy amount of bees (about 30,000 ish). So he left the queen cells figuring they needed a new queen –since he didn’t see her– and closed the hive back up. He also inspected Hive #1 and found them to be happy and healthy.

So what happened? No idea. But we have a few theories:
* Hive #2 was caught as a swarm and so may be more prone to swarming. Spring is major swarm season around here. Perhaps half the hive swarmed and left the other half behind with the new queen?
* A new queen hatched and the old queen left with half the hive instead of battling to the death? It is unlikely, but not impossible.
* Maybe what I saw was an outside swarm looking for asylum in one of our hives and were rejected?
Hey, if you have any ideas of what the heck I saw, I am totally open to bee interpretation. Share oh wise ones!

3 thoughts on “Twilight Zone

  1. Sounds like option no 1 (half the hive swarmed and left the other half behind with the new queen) is the most likely to me. Usually a swarm leaves around day 8 after the new queen was laid, which is when queen cells are first capped. Which makes sense if Trevor found two capped queen cells. Swarms usually send out a few scouts before making a decision on where to go, so don’t think it would make sense for the scouts to lead the swarm to an occupied hive.

    Love the photo of the bees on their honey, looks so yummy.

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