May 20, 2014

Bee Update

Our bees are doing very well.  New bees are being born and going out to do their work. 
Sr. Ciaran checking on the bees.

Busy bees producing honeycomb and honey!

May 12, 2014

Spring at the Abbey

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.

May 5, 2014

We've Got Bees!

Sr. Ciaran smoking the bees to make them docile.
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.