Keep on Keeping On
Zan told us all about the queen, drones, and workers but also about the folklore, tales, gods, and traditions surrounding our historic relationship with bees. Of all the little anecdotes shared through the day I think hearing about the pre-industrial bee farms that suited up working teams of horses in bee suits to protect them were my favorite! Can you imagine these animals, dressed up in bee suits, keeping the honey train going?! You don't have to imagine it, actually, because there are still people suiting up draft animals to collect honey. Check out this video of a news report on a man, his ass, and his sweet sweet loot! Skip to 4:15 to see the big show.
Guys, you can't get this information just anywhere.
I also learned about Warre hives for the first time ever. The Warre hive is a combination of the traditional box hive and the recently-popular top bar hives. It combines the free combs and bee-friendly environment of the top bars with the accesibility and upward growth/expansion of the langstroth hive we all know so well (the one pictured above). I thought these were fascinating and found at later that day that we have one right in town at one of the several Common Sense beehive posts hidden around town. I love that about this place in the world. You can casually mention an extrenely rare model of insect housing in small talk and someone in a commune will say "Oh yeah, we have one a mile from here!" Oh, Cambridge. I adore you.