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Bee Without a Swarm

May 04, 2010

Yesterday, our neighbor said he saw what he thought was a swarm of honeybees near his garage. Immediately, I worried we’d lost our hives. I know Corky of Ballard Bee Company has been checking them regularly to be sure no new queens were being raised, to be sure the bees were happy, and that nothing was portending a swarm. Still, hearing there may have been one nearby gave me some concern. So, today, I watched the hives closely. Usually the bees are out the minute any dappled light hits their hives. But, by just about 10am when I went out to meet with my first client, the hives were silent with zero comings and goings. I left worried.

When I returned around 1pm, the hives were in the sun and everything in the back garden was a-buzz. Whew – no swarm! Or, if there was a swarm, it wasn’t my hives! Both of our hives were hoppin’! Bees were everywhere — in the azaleas, on the rhodies, scurrying around on sedums-yet-to-bloom. They were lining up to take off from the hive and crowding together to get back in wearing their puffy pollen pantaloons. The skies above the patio were a-swirl with activity.

And, again, I noticed they’ve made Shiloh’s water dish their favorite drinking hole. I think it has something to do with liking to land on the glass float I bought earlier this year and keep in the dish. Regardless, apparently bees like dog bowls and have an eye (or thousands of eyes?) for fine garden art. Too, a recycled wine cork from Domanico Cellars acts as an extra floating rescue device for the bees, plus it’s a bumper for the glass float as it meanders from side to side in the water bowl!

See for yourself!

Like the glass float and want to pick one up for yourself? Check out Barbara Sanderson’s fantastic floats and other garden class works at Glass Gardens NW!

In Seattle and interested in hosting honeybees? Sign up with Ballard Bee Company now — be warned; there’s a waiting list!

Interested in local, award-winning Seattle winery Domanico Cellars? Tune in later this week for my interview with wine maker Jason Domanico about his forthcoming participation in the Dunn Gardens wine tasting fundraiser.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by gardenmentor, gardenmentor. gardenmentor said: @glassgardensnw @ballardbee try again -> http://www.gardenhelp.org/insects/bees/bee-without-a-swarm/. Not sure why other url failed?! […]

  2. Colleen Hixenbaugh says:

    Looooved watching your drama in a dog bowl!! Makes me want to find out more about raising bees! The ‘puffy pollen pantaloons’ cracked me up. Nice.

  3. […] More on the thirsty bees including video of them drinking here. […]

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