We received an interesting call from a local farmer living about 10 miles away from us. It seems her son had purchased a hive of bees many years ago in hopes of becoming a beekeeper, but after discovering he had an allergy to bee stings, the hive was left to it’s own devices. It had been at least 5 years since anyone had gone near the hive. She asked if we would come check on them. When we arrived we found several of the bee boxes rotting and in disrepair. At some point a few of the boxes had become skewed leaving large gaping cracks that the bees were trying to seal from rain and other elements. However, even with these issues, this hive was THRIVING! Not only were they thriving but it was a huge colony and probably the most aggressive we’ve ever worked with. In fact, one bee was able to work its way into my boot and sting me on the ankle! It was a wonderful experience and we were happy to have the opportunity to work with those bees. We straightened up their boxes and even gave them a few new ones. We wished them well and promised to come check on them again in the fall.
While many beekeepers think they know what is best for bees, the truth is bees have been surviving on this planet for millions of years all on their own without our help. If anything, our “interventions” are doing more harm than good. It was amazing to see this hive doing so well despite the circumstances and it helped solidify our belief in low-intervening and low-invasive beekeeping. Does that explain why we named the hive Darwin? 🙂
Check out these super cools pics of our experience!