Red wiggler worms are not the only livestock at Big River Organics! Five hives of honey bees work hard all summer long, foraging for nectar and pollen, raising baby bees and tending to their queen. These precious insects are our Workin’ Girls!
We have a small orchard near their home which they gladly visit. The garden is surrounded with all variety of native plants to provide the raw materials for honey manufacturing.
This summer, I noticed a loud commotion near the hives. Honey bees were flying furiously in a cyclone like frenzy. They paid no mind to me. This was a SWARM! The queen had decided weeks ago that her worker population was too big. It needed to split. She laid some queen larvae so that a new boss could run the show when she left.
On moving day, the queen took half of her workers to look for new digs. She has small wings so she cannot fly far. They traveled about 25 feet and landed on a maple tree branch while scout bees flew off to search for a new home.
We were able to carefully shake the branch into a new hive, and thousands of bees, including the queen, tumbled into their new, roomy palace. Once the queen is in, the rest of the colony calmly marches in behind her.
Long live our queen!