Dispatches from the Hives

I road along with Okie yesterday morning as he made is weekly journey out to two sets of his beehives. Here’s the first one:

Pretty much as soon as we got out of the truck, Okie saw that something was wrong with the first hive… there was straw at the entrance to it. Although this was only the second time that he’s seen such a thing in his years of tending hives, he knew it probably meant that a mouse or rat had gotten into the hive and destroyed it.

Sure enough:

He explained that if a hive wasn’t too strong, it couldn’t fight off such an attack. The only thing he could was to open the hive up so other bees could come and recycle whatever was left.

We’d brought with us hive modules from which the honey been extracted.

We put a module on each of the remaining hives (so that the bees could clean them out), and left the others standing-up in the trailer for easy access.

We were then off to a second installation for a general wellness check.

In one hive, Okie was trying to get the bees to build honeycombs directly into jars. Although there was some activity, he thought that it wasn’t going to well, and that he’d probably end-up removing the module from the hive.


  1. What an interesting field trip. Do the bees eat the hive of the other bees? I am referring to when you put the destroyed hive on top of viable hives. Why would he do that? Beautiful looking hives!


  2. thanks for the adventure




  3. what a beautiful way to spend the day….thank you for taking us on this journey into a very different landscape from that of beijing. i had no idea the hives were so colorful. also that the bees, when strong, could fight off an intruder. how long has oakie been tending bees?

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