Spring is most beautiful at the Abbey. The greens that appear are so varied, especially in the valley. The gardens start to bloom and the birds appear in numbers and variety. Our most favorite spring bird is the oriole. The vibrant orange of the males is incredible. They also have a beautiful, melodic song. Some days there will be more than 10 at a time at the feeders.
On April 22, thanks to
the generosity of Bill & Louise Johnson of Johnson Honey Farm, in
Guttenberg, Iowa, we now have 2 beehives! Bill brought over the 2 “packages”,
as they are called, of Carniolan bees, and installed them in the 2 hives that
our farm manager, Dale Mueller, made for us. Any honey the bees make this year
will probably have to be left for the bees to use to get through the winter,
but we hope to have some honey to sell in our shop the following year. Sr. Ciaran is our beekeeper.
The Queen's cage is empty!
Opening the hive to check on the Queen Bee
The queen bee comes in a tiny cage. She is surrounded by marshmallows which she must eat through. This takes her several days and gives time for the bees to get used to her smell. If she were put directly into the hive the bees might attack her and kill her.