This Just In!

Today I went out into the chicken/goose yard and surprise! 

A small colony of bees have moved into my previously dead and completely empty hive. 

Cleaning-houseThis is a very bad shot, but the best I could get considering how ultra busy they were.  I didn’t want to get stung!

I had watched with sadness last month, after finding all my bees in a pile on the ground in front of the hive, as robber bees came and completely cleaned out the honey stores.  I checked later and they left nothing.

So imagine my surprise today when I saw all these bees flying about the yard, and these girls busily cleaning house! 

I did a bit of research on swarming in August, and found that it is actually called absconding.  Apparently it happens when the hive is not happy in its current conditions.  After looking about for a suitable new home, they take all their honey, store it in their bodies and GO! 

Of course, I am not 100% certain that this is what is going on but I will be keeping a close watch on my little hive to see what happens over the next few days.  If they are truly staying, then I will take more pictures in the morning when it is cooler and they are more relaxed.

In the meantime, here are some interesting words on the difference between swarming and absconding  —>  HERE

Are any other WordPress users less than enchanted with the changes to composing a new post?

My main complaint is this:  That if you try to preview the post you end up right back at the draft page and the POST BUTTON IS REPLACED WITH THE UPDATE BUTTON.   

The only save I could find was to copy the entire post, go to generate another ‘New Post’ and plunk it down in the window, re-title, and lordluvaduck do not touch that preview button!  Grrr…

If you know a better way, would you please leave me a comment with instructions or point me to a page with complete instructions? 

THANK YOU.  😉

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58 thoughts on “This Just In!

  1. shoreacres says:

    That’s wonderful about the bees! We’ll hope they move in, and you get back to being the proprietors of a happy hive.

    As for the posts – Here’s a question. Where are you doing your composing? There’s that “short form” for quick posts you can click to from the admin bar, but it’s had so many problems many forum volunteers are telling people to do what I’ve always done: use the “new post” function through the dashboard.

    You can begin a new post, save your draft as many times as you want, and preview along the way. When I preview, I can just close out the preview and I’m right back where I was. Best of all, drafts are saved with all of their revisions, so if I inadvertently lose a paragraph, (or whatever,) I can back up a couple revisions and it’s all there.

    I just gave my current draft a change or two, previewed and came back to the draft with no problems, so my guess is you’re using that “quick form.” But I could be wrong.

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, Thank you for your comments.

      I just went to the menu bar and hold my cursor on my blog name on the left. This drops a menu with Dashboard at the top and “New” under that. Holding my cursor over new pops a new menu with post, page, media and link categories.

      HOWEVER>>> They must have had a bunch of complaints, because now I can go back the the “Classic Editor” by clicking on it, and it is just what I expect. LOL! Problem solved! 😉

      • shoreacres says:

        That’s it. We’re using two different formats. I start in the same place, but click “Dashboard” rather than “new”. Then, I click “all posts” and that takes me to my published and draft pieces. It’s a more complete editor with more options.

        • Lynda says:

          I haven’t found the place where you are working. I only know of the “New Post” up in the menu bar on the RIGHT and the New Post button on the left in the drop down menu.
          THAT SAID: I did notice that both “New Post” options are now the same, and the little neutered post (that was on the right) in the menu bar, is now displayed in the middle of my dashboard window.
          Gaaack! I wish the new kids would leave the good stuff alone!

  2. stillsearching says:

    I love that you have new bees!! I hope they remain happy and make lots of sweet, delicious honey for you! As for the changes to the composing feature…I’m not at all a fan!

    • Lynda says:

      Good news, Laura, they have just this evening given us the option to change back to “CLASSIC” LOL! Less problems I say!
      As for the bees, I hope they stick around and will be able to make enough honey to survive this winter. I hate feeding them fake food (sugar syrup), but will if it becomes necessary.

  3. Littlesundog says:

    Oh, I’m so happy about the bees!!! When did the change happen with WordPress posting? I haven’t written since this weekend and I didn’t notice anything. Gads! I dislike change.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Lori! The changes started yesterday, I think… But, good news! You can change back to “CLASSIC” if you look at the top of the page you’ll find a message box there and just CLICK to go back to the old way! 😀

  4. shoreacres says:

    OK – here you go. This screenshot shows where I land.
    Click on your blog name on the left, then dashboard, and then “post”. You can either click on new post there (and get a different window than the one you’re using) or you can do what I do and click “all posts”, which lets me into all published, all drafts, or all posts. I like it much better.

  5. onceuponaurora says:

    I had never heard of robber bees. Guess even at my age you can learn something! I wish you luck with the new bees, if it would be a good thing to keep them. I honestly know squat about bee keeping. I do know that I appreciate the efforts of bee keepers, particularly considering the danger that bees these days seem to be facing.
    Thank you for visiting us at The Netherworld.

    • Lynda says:

      Aurora, weak or abandoned hives will often get raided by opportunistic bees. 😉 In the case of the weakened hive it is a sad thing to see. In the abandoned hive it is a helpful cleanup process.

      I only have one hive, but I sure do enjoy watching them work. There is nothing so soothing to a beekeeper than to stand and listen to them humming as they work, nor so thrilling as to stand so close you can feel them flying past you…

  6. katechiconi says:

    Great about the bees, not great about WordPress! My problems are different. Every new post now has the line length set to a ridiculous small width so I end up with a post that looks like a newspaper column. I haven’t made any changes myself, I was just presented with this one day. I don’t have the preview problem you do, which is just as well, because previewing is the only way I can see how the post will look in real life. I still can’t insert a link without typing the whole thing into the body of a post, and I can’t insert images where I want them, they automatically go to the top of the post and I have to cut and past them. If they give me any more obstacles I’ll have to try a new theme to see if it improves matters. But I like the way it looks now so that’s a last resort.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Kate, they seem to be doing very well and are very industrious too. They have a lot of catching up to do before winter!

      Kate, when I was hit with the new editor they had me in “Text” mode, not “Visual“. Text mode is clunky and appears to be a neutered format. Look at the top right corner of your writing window and you should see two tabs labelled Visual and Text. You want Visual! I hope this helps you.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’m working in Visual already, I’m afraid… I think I’m stuck with the problems unless I upgrade my 8 year old Mac, and as it’s working just fine for everything else, I’ll grit my teeth and press on until WordPress make it impossible. I just wish they’d leave things alone…

        • Lynda says:

          “I just wish they’d leave things alone…”

          I think if they asked they would find that the majority feel that way. 😦 Sorry I couldn’t help you, Kate.

  7. bluestempond says:

    I did not remember that you were a beekeeper! I looked at your old posts and see they were long ago, so maybe that’s why. It sounds like you were lucky and the bees will stay. Also, I hate the new posting app. I do it right from the dashboard instead.

    • Lynda says:

      Nancy, with only one little hive there really isn’t much to write about. Losing all them to poisoning and then having a new queen and hall her workers move in are newsworthy events! LOL!

      You and Linda both knew about this trick, and I can see why you would prefer it! At least WP has now given us the option of choosing “Classic”. I just wish that I didn’t have to choose every single time…

  8. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Great news about the new colony; but you’re so right about building them up and SOON! What’s that old expression: “A swarm in May’s worth a bale of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July ain’t worth a fly…”
    Do you have a local beekeeper – who hopefully isn’t the same one who likely “lost” the bees in the first place – from whom you could buy a couple of full frames of comb honey to supplement what they brought with them?? (Not to worry, whether a Swarm or “Absconded” bees, legally they’re fair game) Perhaps even a couple of frames of capped brood (WITH nurse bees) too, if they need strength?

    • Lynda says:

      My neighbor’s friend captured one of my swarms this spring. Maybe she can help me out.
      The strangest thing is, that they appear to be some of my own bees! Here’s why:

      The majority are about two thirds the size of production bees because they were allowed to form/draw their own comb. Some are full sized because they started out they made the larger chambers. The rest are smaller because as they returned to natural size they built smaller chambers.

      I suspect that they went to a tree cavity, and when it became overfull they came home.

      They are moving an amazing amount of cr@p out the entrance of the hive!

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Okay, so you need to replace AT LEAST two, if not three, of your old frames with new, every year, for two reasons: as each successive generation of brood is reared, small amounts of detritus are left behind and cause the cells to gradually “shrink” over time; this old tissue becomes host to fungi and bacteria and make the hive uninhabitable. Agricultural Toxins will also accumulate, as wax ages, so, by replacing old brood comb with new, you knock down the toxic load within the hive AND allow for normal, larger-sized bees: )
        You can accomplish this at this point in time, if the honey frames you buy to feed these little gals are on fresh, white comb: )

        • Lynda says:

          Deb, this is a top bar hive. I know of no one in the area who keeps a top bar. I wouldn’t mind changing out or supplementing from my own hives, if I had more than one, but I would never feel comfortable putting someone else’s bees and combs in my hive. I might very well be importing pests and disease that I don’t have. Based on this, I feel it is best to let them settle, supplement their feeding if necessary, and gradually remove old comb next spring and summer. Goldenrod season is ready to pop at any moment and I am pretty sure they will be able to quickly produce food stores for winter.

          • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

            I agree completely about importing trouble when purchasing bees/honey (that’s why I suggested consulting with your local Bee Inspector first; ). Not sure how it works where you are but here, in the Province of Ontario, any beekeeper wishing to sell bees or used equipment must first have them inspected and will have the official certificate to prove it…
            Of course, when bees rob from deadouts or weaker hives, there is also the chance of them bringing home the same contagion as killed the hive they’re cleaning out – that’s why it’s SO important to destroy hives that’re infected with AFB as soon as possible):
            We haven’t had any of our usual few weeks of drought and the Purple Loosestrife is still blooming well. We’ve also had some REALLY unseasonably cool weather the past few days and suddenly leaves are turning colour and the Golden Rod is turning yellow already… I’ve heard it said that September is supposed to be warmer than normal, but, so far at least, this year has just had a lot of bizarre weather): Anyway, good luck to you (and your new ba-bees; )

        • Lynda says:

          Deb, larger sized bees are not normal. They’ve gotten larger because beekeepers decided that bigger bees meant more honey. So at that time they devised foundations with larger cells for the bees to build off of. Left to their own to build they will build smaller. HENCE: I’ve had two sizes of bees in my hive from the very first year. Next year when I begin removing the older and larger comb I expect all my bees will be the smaller 3/4 size from then on. Smaller bee cells, smaller bees, less varroa, and no need for freezing and killing off brood.

          • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

            To use capped Drone brood as varroa bait and then freezing it (kind of like a sacrifice fly in baseball; ) is suggested as a part of natural Integrated Pest Management system here – along with screened bottom boards and swapping out “old wax” brood frames for new…

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Also, comb foundation being used for honey production sometimes uses Drone comb as the cells at larger and can be built out by the bees more quickly. Given the choice, the bees themselves will build infill comb with drone cells… If you place a shallow frame into the brood box for Natural Varroa Control (which is then to be removed and frozen/destroyed once fully capped)

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Tom, they seem to be buzzing along!

      I was in the midst of writing my FF offering as the changes were taking place. Why do they have to do the editing live? It was very irritating not to be able to do a preview for proof reading. I’m glad they have now given us a choice of formats!

  9. quilt32 says:

    Wonderful news about the bees.

    I struggled through two posts with the new format and then saw the note that we can use the Classic if we like. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to use the new one.
    Lillian

    • Lynda says:

      It’s so exciting, Lillian, thank you!
      As for WP, I have to imagine they got a lot of complaints for them to offer us a choice in format. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded it so much if the “preview” button had actually worked. 😉

  10. Marlene says:

    Lynda my sister has bees, as does her neighbor. Last month one of her neighbor’s hives swarmed….which I think means they left and went somewhere else! blessings, marlene

    • Lynda says:

      Marlene, swarming is usually when the hive makes another queen and then she leaves and takes half the group with her. The other half usually stays behind and takes care of the resident queen. This happens when conditions become too crowded and usually in spring. I have recently read that this late in the season if the whole hive leaves it is called absconding. Apparently, for whatever reason, the whole colony is no longer comfortable in their home. I’m sorry this happened to your friends hive.

  11. LB says:

    Whoever said “pesky changes” hit it on the head!
    I’m not sure I see reasons for some of the pesky changes WP makes.
    BUT
    I love that you’ve got some bees busily working 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      You know the old saying, Laurie, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” It wasn’t broke, but at least this time they did let us have a choice. 😀

      If I can get it to work out… I have a fun bee post in the making…
      The first half of the task is accomplished, now I need to see if I can make the second half work!

  12. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi again! Found another interesting article about absconding vs swarming here:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/why-do-honey-bees-abscond-in-the-fall/
    But, in summary, he said, “If you can catch such a colony, you may be able to save them by heavy feeding of honey, syrup, and pollen. But don’t put them back where they came from unless you can determine what was wrong and correct it. Otherwise, they will simply abscond again. Rusty”
    Good luck to you all…

  13. Bill says:

    I’m just now seeing this and I am DELIGHTED that bees have colonized your empty hive. I have two set out in hopes that will happen here. It’s so hard to keep bees alive these days it seems.

    And I agree with you about WordPress. I often write my posts at night and publish them the next morning. In the past I’d just push a button that said “save draft” (or something like that). Now it’s a pain to make that first save. And it reset to automatically resize my photos smaller than I liked–but I figured out how to fix that.

    • Lynda says:

      Bill, next time you write a post, look in the upper right corner (or across the top, as apparently the message will appear in either place) before you begin! You will be given an option to use the old way to write your post. Unfortunately, setting it is only temporary, but you can choose again next time too.

      Yes! the bees have really surprised me this year. I had been planning to tear down the old hive and rehabilitate it, but the bees decided it was fine as it is! 😀

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