Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Daredevil butterfly and a doghouse without a dog

The milkweed in the bee garden has been blooming and bringing in the Monarch butterflies.  I was watching one in particular today while I was sitting and taking a break.  They fly erratically zipping up down and sideways.  But this particular butterfly kept buzzing by the entrances of the bee colonies.  I even noticed when it went through the traffic pattern of the very large hive it got banged into several times.  It seemed like an accident but it was almost inevitable with the heavy bee traffic.  What made me wonder was why this butterfly made a few passes past the hives.  Was it showing off?  Because it seemed to have no real destination other than the buzzing of the hives.

When it got real interesting is when the butterfly came around and was about 20 feet away from the hive.  I then saw a bee whack the butterfly twice. Once might have been accidental but twice made for a definite challenge.  Kind of how the bees have been keeping me away from their hives lately ... whacking me in the head a few times will convince me to find something better to look at.  

Swarm #6 is now a reality and has moved into their new temporary home.  If the bees are just scouts checking out the swarm trap then they'll be out of there before dark.  But if you look into the swarm trap at night or early morning and it's full of bees then you know they're moved in.  This morning just as it was getting light I went out and stuck my head by the entrance to the box.  And sure enough I had a bunch of little eyes looking back at me.  Doing what bees do in the early morning hours, probably having a coffee or sip of honey I imagine.  When I saw all those little faces looking back at me I knew that I'm going to have to do some more carpentry tonight to get a new permanent home ready for them.

I had a little extra paint so the doghouse got a fresh coat to match the house.  Now we just need to get a dog.   

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