Some images just stick with you…like the idea of eight million bees loose on the freeway.
This story came out of California a couple of days ago. It seems that a truck hauling 440 colonies of bees overturned–setting loose EIGHT MILLION BEES! That’s an image I can’t get out of my mind. Take a look at the photo at the bottom of this news story.
It seems that the big rig that was hauling the bees home overturned, setting loose all the flying critters. It shut down traffic for hours while several other beekeepers–WHO HAPPENED TO BE PASSING BY THE ACCIDENT–wrangled them back into the colonies to be hauled away.
The good news is that bees are very orderly creatures. Once the hives were set up the buzzing bees rendez-voused with their brethren so they could be transported to their next job. Some bees were lost. And it will take a while to sort out the whole one-queen-per-hive issue. But for the most part, the cool-headed beekeepers efficiently dealt with eight million potential problems fairly handily.
First, I didn’t know that there were itinerant bees. I thought that bees were pretty much home-based and took care of their own fields and crops. But these bees were apparently being trucked back to Washington state after a gig in the San Joaquin Valley.
Second, who knew that there were so many bees a coming and going that there would be more than one big bunch of beekeepers on a single stretch of California highway? What are the chances? Well, apparently pretty good in California. But then, California is a special place, no?
My head is still buzzing with the thought of eight million bees on the loose.
Lovely country location just yards from the Chesapeake Bay.
Easy dining in your own hay field. Stylish gourd-style homes. Immediate occupancy.
What do you think? Will I get any takers?
We were very fortunate to have bluebirds set up house in our first year as bird landlords. I am hoping that the rural habitat is as enticing to purple martins as it has been to the bluebirds.
If you’re familiar with the site of these gourd houses or the condo-style houses you see atop tall poles in open spaces but don’t know what they’re for, these are purple martin houses. Purple martins in the east rely almost exclusively on human-provided housing. They prefer tall nesting sites located within 100 feet of a human dwelling and at least 40 feet away from trees and other tall structures where predators can hide.
The purple martins migrate up from South America very early in the season, usually returning to their homes from previous years.
Like some of those aggravating folks who line up even before the plane arrives at Southwest Airlines, the purple martins migrate so early because of the competition for housing. The earlier the bird arrives the greater the chance of getting the location they find desirable.
New colonies like mine are usually first visited and used by birds hatched the previous year who are searching for their own homes. These “scouts” arrive four to six weeks later than the mature purple martins.
According to the scout reports from the Purple Martin Conservation Association, the adult birds are nearly here to our area of Southern Maryland. Well, my houses are ready and I’m playing the dawn song on the outdoor speakers, just in case there are some martins looking for some new digs.
So, we are now open for business. Pass the word.
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