Bee Swarming Story
Spring has been a busy BEE time here at Wind Horse Sanctuary. It has been so full that I didn't send out my newsletter last week. I have dove into clarifying my priorities for self care when it comes to my healing journey and have had to whittle some things out of my schedule that add extra stress. Spring time on a 10 acre ranch is extra full with plants growing, sprinklers breaking, a beloved horse (Spirit) who foundered this past week, a tiny house being delivered (stay tuned for news of the new AirBnb addition which I'm VERY excited about!) and the bees swarming.
As the daughter of a biologist I am endless intrigued by these magical insects. This story was far too exciting to not share! My partner Syris edited this Bee Swarm 1 video that captures the excitement of the bee swarm on the property a few weeks ago. For more bee action please check out these other two shorter videos: Bee Swarm 2 and Bee Swarm 3.
A bee swarm happens when a hive becomes too full and the bees know it's time to expand their brood to reproduce elsewhere. The bees start producing new queen cells and drones (male bees) that will eventually mate with the virgin queen. If you want to read more about this intriguing process please read my dear friend Jacqueline Freeman's book: Song of Increase
We knew the bees were soon to swarm as my shamanic beekeeper friend Cheyanna Bone (my beekeeping mentor) and I had been keeping an eye on them. I was watching them like an eager new bee keeper waiting for the birth of new life.
I shared a few weeks ago about my talented musician friends Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda visiting the ranch. (To watch the video we made together, hear about their music and hear an acapella version of 'Altar of Love' click on Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda video.) One morning when they were here I was joining them for a morning kundalini yoga practice by the pond. As it was the morning after one of my high dose Vitamin-C infusions I was a bit tired. During the last part of the practice I laid down on the soft grass and napped in the sunshine under the willow tree. It was pure bliss!
When Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda were done practicing, Ananda remarked how there was an abundance of flies around the horses. I responded that it was at the beginning of the fly season and they actually get worse later on. He said, "yes, but they are so loud!" I tuned in and then noticed that the blessed bees were swarming right beyond the horse pasture! There were thousands of bees flying around the plum tree. Please check out the video below to witness the beauty!
When bees swarm it is like an orgasmic explosion of them flooding out of the hive. Unfortunately I missed that part but was grateful to witness the divine buzz above their mother top-bar hive. What a magical scene it was to witness! Ananda, Syris, my friend Maitreya and I watched in awe as the bees slowly congregated on a branch.
As the bees gathered on the branch they became quieting down. Their frenzied buzz became a peaceful hum that permeated my being with the wonder of it all. I sat there with them off and on for hours hoping they would stay on this branch, while Cheyanna was making her way to the ranch to place them in a new top-bar hive.
During a swarm period the bees are actively looking for a new home. If a human is fortunate enough to be able to gather them, then the humans are gifted with a new hive. Cheyanna arrived a few hours later and they new hive was created!
Please watch the videos below to see Cheyanna and I putting the bees in the new hive:
There is no end to the excitement here as we discovered ten days after the swam was caught that the queen wasn't in the hive! I found another beekeeper in the area who had an extra queen bee that I purchased for $20. There was the fun job of putting the new queen in the hive out of the little queen box she was in. There is nothing like handling a precious queen with 30 honeybees crawling all over your fingertips! Fortunately I was not stung (due to my winter gloves) but Syris was bestowed with some bee medicine. :-)
After a new queen is put in a hive there is a 50% chance that she will survive, much like an organ transplant. There is a chance that the other bees won't take to her new scent and will kill her as she is essentially an invader to the hive.
I am happy to say that it looks like our new queen has survived! During the last hive inspection a few days ago it appeared the new queen was laying eggs. Yay!
Stay tuned to the unfolding of the extraordinary unfolding of bee life here on the ranch. It feels quite bountiful to have two hives for my bee venom therapy (Apitherapy). For more info about Apitherapy please see my article Bee Medicine. I am in the process of writing a new article about my bee venom experience that hopefully will be published soon!
I am excited to share that I am launching another 5-week cancer coaching program this June! I love the process of coaching other natural cancer journeyers through their process of gaining clarity, strength and insight. It is an honor and one that is truly powerful for all involved. Please click here for more info: Cancer Coaching
With love and bee magic,