November 16, 2005
Michelle and I visited San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park this past weekend. They have a beautiful orchid exhibit at the moment. I mention it here because there is apparently, a particular species, Oncidium, which “exploit the territorial nature of bees with flowers that look like the bee’s antagonists. When a breeze kicks up and the flower move, the bee attacks, butting the offending flower like a bull. With a forehead full of pollen, the bee flies off, only to get drawn into another floral battle.” That’s an Oncidium on the left there, plus a gratuitous display of non-bee antagonist impersonating orchids.

In other bee news, I took Suzi’s advice and combined the almost entirely defunct Hive 2 into Hive 1 a few weeks back. That meant I took the one remaining box of Hive 2 and put it on top of Hive 1, with just some newspaper separating them. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up doing any good, as there weren’t enough bees left in Hive 2 to even chew through the newspaper, so when I went in to Hive 1 this weekend to add Apistan, the newspaper was intact and there were just a few dead bees above it. Sigh.

Anyway, I took off the old Hive 2 box, wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in the garage for the winter. Unfortunately, based on the condition of the other boxes I had stored in there, that means I effectively painted “Rat Chow” on the side of the plastic, so we’ll see what condition it’s in come Spring.

Sadly, I still haven’t harvested the honey that I took off the hives a month or so ago. This is dangerous, as the comb could mold in the wet weather. Why would I do anything so obviously irresponsible. Come on, people, pay attention! I’m a bad beekeeper.

Sigh. Maybe I’ll skip with the hives and just plant some Oncidium in the garden.

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