Roda’s Critter Connection: Eastern Carpenter Bee

Although most children are afraid of bees, I was that little girl chasing them with my camera, from flower to flower.  My passion for bees started at a very young age. To this day, I find myself following large bumbles, throughout the gardens.

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eastern carpenter bee in flight

I feel bless to have a carpenter bee (xylocopa virginica) nest in one of our retaining wall.  Although most would panic, I am filled with joy! These huge bumbles are just fabulous! They feed on pollen and nectar, while nesting in tunnels and in dead wood.

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Look at those eyes!

There are no queens in the colony.  The dominant females are responsible for reproduction, foraging and nest construction.

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A female eastern carpenter bee

It looks like the Miss Kim Lilacs are a hit with these fuzzy friends!

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 BEE the change you wish to see in the world.

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You

♥Roda

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Long Live the Queen

Yesterday was the big day!  It was time to open the new hives, for the first time. We were excited to observe how our buzzing friends have been using their time.

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Preparing the smoker
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The thick cool smoke makes colonies easier to work with, during inspection.
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The main lid is removed. 
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As you can see, the little queen cage is wedged between frame 3 and 4.  The queen candy is gone…the queen has been released!
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The bees have already made a large amount of burr comb, due to the extra space left between each frame, from the queen cage. Although it is beautiful, it must be removed! This beeswax can be used for making candles! Bonus!
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When examining the burr comb closely, you will find the queen’s first eggs!  They look like tiny grains of rice.  This is a great sign that the hive is growing in the right direction.
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As we inspected each frame, we were on the lookout for the queen!  Can you spot her?  Hint…she has a red dot on her back, for easy location.

 

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Long Live the Queen!  We named our 2 queens Thelma and Louise! 

I could not have asked for a more perfect 1st inspection!  We were able to locate both Thelma and Louise.  We also verified that they are both laying eggs.   My heart is filled will such joy…  Next week, we will be on a hunt for larvae!  I can’t wait!

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Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

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