Bees love heather

Probably Bombus lucorum on heather. (Fin) Mantukimalainen, (Eng) White-tailed bumblebee, (Swe) Ljus jordhumla.

Apis mellifera.  (Fin) Tarhamehiläinen, kesymehiläinen, (Eng) Honeybee, (Swe) Honungsbi.

There’s a beautiful lake far away from the traffic and other people and it’s surrounded by hectares of forest, bees and in the late season, heather.  I had no idea there were honeybees around at all, but apparently someone has a hive or two nearby.

It’s been a really, really amazing and hectic August and currently we’re making sure the bees are ready for overwintering, which creates it’s own chaos- though a good and rather organized one.  Apparently I have gotten the “bug”- this infectious and intense disease that starts with admiring bees in general and ends up with everything in your life tied to those tiny and amazing creatures.  It’s incurable, I’ve been told, so I’m just happily spreading the love of bees around.

In April 2013 I asked, “who will be taking care of the honeybees of our department?”  Then everything just escalated ridiculously quickly and I have so many stories to tell and even more to come, only if I’d find the time to type them down.  Luckily there’s a bunch (a couple of thousand) of photos insects taken during this summer so there’s always something to share.

Long live the queen

Some weeks ago I found around 20 queen cells from hive number 7.  Next week they were gone, some of them completely vanished (could the wax have been re-used?) and a few left with open heads.  No sign of queen being present.  As a precaution we moved a frame with eggs from another hive and hoped for the best.

This week I wasn’t at Helsinki and hence had no chance to visit the hives, but I was happily informed that all hives, including 7, have active queens, and plenty of eggs.  Two new hives arrived a week ago, and will probably be joined with each other sometime later.  Eight more hives from Åland islands were transported to Houtskär for Sanibee project.

Beautiful and amazing, aren’t they?