Sunday, April 29, 2012


" A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay,
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm in July, let them fly"
 Old English Poem


  • SWARM!
Told ya I had a talented family! Here are roses from my sister Virginia's beautiful garden, in southern California.

Lots of stuff happening in the garden! Our newest cherry tree has 3 cherries (so far), the new peach tree has two baby peaches and the apricot, pear and apple trees are loaded!

Even the pomegranate tree is full, and the honeysuckle is starting to flower. Freesias flowering, locust trees and umbrella blossoms scenting the air, baby chicks growing and lovely sunshine.

Today a fairly rare phenomenon occurred, LOL in a few ways! First, the husband woke me at 7am to share with me that there was a gigantic ball of bees in the front pomegranate tree; And that was the second phenomenon- bees swarming. Boy, did we learn a lot!

Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. A new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, called swarming

In the prime swarm about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two to three week period, but occasional swarms can happen during the producing season. Sometimes a beehive will swarm in succession until it is almost totally depleted of workers. Entomologists consider the colony a superorganism. An individual bee without a colony cannot survive for long.

Getting ready for the swarming, the worker bees create queen cups throughout the year. New queens are raised and the hive may swarm as soon as the queen cells are capped and before the new virgin queens emerge from their queen cells. A laying queen is too heavy to fly long distances. Therefore the workers will stop feeding her before the anticipated swarm date and the queen will stop laying eggs. Swarming creates an interruption in the brood cycle of the original colony. During the swarm preparation, scout bees will find a nearby location for the swarm to cluster. This is a temporary stop and the swarm will leave within three days to the final site, based on the excitement of the scout bees.
Photo Credit: James Bratton

When a honey bee swarm emerges from a hive they do not fly far at first. They gather nearby the old hive, where they cluster around the queen and send about 20-50 of the most experienced forager scout bees out to find a suitable location. The scouts return individually to the swarm to promote the location they found, using a dance similar to the waggle dance. The more excited she is about the location, the more excitedly she dances. If she can convince other scouts to check out the location she found, they will check it out and report back. After several hours and sometimes days, slowly a favorite location emerges. When all the scouts agree on a location, the whole cluster takes off and flies to it. 

Swarming creates a vulnerable time in the life of honey bees. The swarm is only provisioned with the nectar or honey they carry in their stomachs. A swarm will starve if it does not quickly find a home and more nectar. At the old hive, the bees raise a new queen, or sometimes a replacement virgin queen is already present.

Hubby was great and took a video for you! You can check it out   here or watch below.Oh, and P.S., the bee swarm left in a few hours and disappeared!



This is one of my go-to favorite recipes! Super easy to make and oh-so-yummy!

You Will Need:
(6) eggs
(1) cup half and half (half the calories of cream!)
(2) T flour
(1) cup shredded cheese (I usually use low fat mozzarella)
(2) pie crusts, uncooked
your favorite herbs for seasoning- I use them all! (thyme, basil, Italian seasoning, rosemary, garlic pepper, lemon pepper, opal basil, tarragon, oregano, etc)
(1) pkg mushrooms (I use crimini) HINT: get them pre-sliced and save a step)
(1) lb bacon

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix eggs with half and half and whisk together. While constantly whisking, add flour a little at a time. Add your herbs and seasonings. Set aside.

Bake your uncooked pie crusts for about 5 minutes. Since this recipe will make two quiches, you will need to divide your ingredients for each quiche. Remove crusts from oven and layer bacon in the bottom- you can either crumble it or leave it in strips. Then add your cheese and mushrooms. Pour the egg mixture with herbs over the top. Cook at 400F for about 20-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and middle is set.

Let cool  and serve with a crisp salad, warm bread and fresh sliced tomatoes! It will also do well as a left-over. Microwave to warm at about 3 minutes per slice. Share with us if you make one!

As always, we would love to hear from you! Please share here; Or find us on Facebook!

No comments: