Sunday, May 17, 2015

The birds and the bees *UPDATE*

magpie fledgling magpie fledgling magpie fledgling my 50mm lens trying to capture the swarm *sigh* watching the swarm swarm Oh my. What a wondrous and full day today was! A day to answer our calling and to carry on St. Francis' spirit for sure. We started the day watching this year's magpie fledglings fly for the very first time out of our tree and onto the ground behind our home (remember last year's?!) Well, I actually missed them (too slow out of bed) but Kevin and our children saw it all. Lucky ducks!

Then early in the afternoon, after we came home from a bike ride to the store, a swarm of honeybees flew past Kevin and landed in a small tree behind our house. As you can see in the photographs above, they are right next to a walking path around our neighborhood.  First we stood awestruck watching them protect their queen and then it suddenly dawned on us what danger they were in. You see, this base we live on is not kind to wildlife in any way. Nature is seen a nuisance that needs to be dealt with, not helped or saved. If anyone else on base happened upon this swarm, a report would be made and the bees would be exterminated straight away. We couldn't let that happen. We contacted all the beekeepers would could find (all of them are at least an hour's drive from our home) but being Sunday not too many picked up their phones. All the while we were watching them vigilantly, making sure they were safe. We did find one beekeeper willing to make the drive to us tomorrow morning to rescue the bees if no one else responds tonight. Now I just pray they remain safe on that tree until the morning.

Our day came to an end rescuing one of the aforementioned magpie babies that was unable to get back up in his tree. One of our German shepherds found him in the backyard. Thankfully our dog didn't harm him but there are numerous neighborhood cats that visit our yard at night so Kevin gently guided him back up to the tree (taking care not to touch him). Phew, what a day!

Now we need to get back to watching over the bees and trying to call more beekeepers again. Please keep them in your thoughts. I hope to have good news to report back with tomorrow.

***UPDATE*** a beekeeper in Boise found someone local to come and get our swarm (Yes, I am referring to them as our swarm). He came earlier today and we were able to watch as he captured the swarm and got them safe and sound into the hive he brought with him. We spoke with him afterwards and it truly was a serendipitous event. All of his bees didn't make it through the winter and now he has these bees to look after. The whole thing just makes my heart sing! He told us that if they produce enough honey this year, we will be the first ones to get some. How amazing would that be? These past couple of days have really made my desire to keep bees even stronger. I can't wait until we move and are able to do so. Kevin, who was reluctant these past few years, if even on board now!

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