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Honeybee Hives

Rarely do you see or hear about honeybees attempting to construct a hive outdoors that isn’t inside a hollow “bee tree” or in a rock crevice.  Occasionally they do attempt it, but as the empty cells in this exposed comb attest to, honeybees aren’t likely to make it through a Vermont winter without some shelter for their hive, even a winter as mild as the one we just experienced.

5 responses

  1. I’ve never seen a hive -or an attempt at one- anything like the one in this photo. Fascinating! Thanks for yet another great blog entry!

    March 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    • Thanks, Mark. It was a first for me, as well! (I was not the first to discover it.)

      March 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  2. Susan in NH

    Have never seen a honey bee hive in the wild, that I know of. Only in bee hive boxes. What an amazing thing to find! And it makes me wonder why the bees did this? Climate confusion? (I do worry about honey bees…)

    March 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

  3. For over thirty years, I had a wild colony under one of my outbuildings. Alas, last year the colony perished. They would swarm each year, and occasionally, if it was early enough, apiarist friends would come collect them. One memorable year, Scotty Young and I cleared a dropway by removing side branches of a spruce, pruned excess material from the branch the bees were on, and then lowered them forty feet down to the waiting collection hive. In the 80’s there was a swarm that made their new home on the exposed underjoists of the building, and they survived until a hard freeze in mid-February. This on Martha’s Vineyard. At the time, zone 7a. This year we were upgraded to 7b.

    March 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    • Fascinating! There was a beekeeper near the location where this comb was found, so I am assuming they came from a swarm of his. Wish I could have watched your swarm descending 40 feet!

      March 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

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