In addition to the eroded shorelines we’ve shown you, Monday night’s fierce wind also brought down trees – and as seen here Tuesday afternoon, a wild beehive came crashing down with one of those trees in Lincoln Park. In the comments on that story, we all learned they’d been rescued … and their rescuer Rob added a comment a day later with an update. We e-mailed Rob to ask if he might share new photos and more information on how the bees are doing; he obliged, with some background:
By the path along the bluff of Lincoln Park, a tall fir tree grew and a half dead maple tree had grown with its trunk wrapped around that of the fir. In the space between these trunks and in the rotting maple a wild bee-hive made its home. I have watched this hive over about the past four years, but last year I had concluded that the hive must have failed during the long wet spring.
I was wrong, and the hive must simply have made itself another entrance from the one I had been watching, because when Monday night’s wind took down the fir and the rotted maple with it, there was the hive smashed up on the ground in among the tangle and rubble of the shattered trees. The temperature was in the teens Tuesday morning, so I was utterly astonished to see bees still alive and clustering around the broken fragments of honeycomb.
I keep bees, but all my good equipment is stored at my bee yard on Bainbridge. Still I had an old box lying around, so I scooped up all that I could of this hive, thinking it was a lost cause, but worth the try for the sake of sentiment if nothing else.
Amazingly, this tough old hive seems to be making a comeback. At the moment I just have the boxed fragments in the spare bedroom keeping warm, but the level of activity and work around the old combs makes me think the ladies may be viable. I have long felt that different hives have distinct personalities, and this one is certainly a rugged, determined survivor.
This weekend I’ll be able to make a trip over to Bainbridge and bring back a proper home for the girls, along with some fresh frames and comb foundation, and set them up so they can make a go of it. I’ve long wanted to make an observation hive, so I think I will set this up indoors for the time being with a sealed gangway out a window. That way, in their weakened state, they will have a better chance and will be less likely to starve for energy to keep warm.
Thank you to WSBlog and all the followers and commenters who have taken an interest in this little saga. I will send updates of news of their progress. Happy Thanksgiving to all!