Fall in the Adirondacks

When the sun shines in October driving through the Adirondacks can be gorgeous:


 Friday evening we arrived in Baltimore to deliver honey and hockey sticks and eat fish and chips with Kepler and friends by a tributary creek of Chesapeake Bay.

Then on Sat. drove North for 5 hours to Rhinebeck for tennis with S&J, Alen & Hazel, Prosciutto+figs drizzled with raw comb honey. Alen’s famous Irish oatmeal and Burket croissants were eaten for breakfast Sunday before more tennis and then the 11 hour drive home while finishing a good 11 CD book of Isabel Allende: “Daughter of Fortune” about Valparaiso and the California gold rush of 1849.

The bees were glad to see me again. I’ve squished 150 hive beetles in 2 days.  Only about 1 in 10 of them fall into these little plastic traps with salad oil in the bottom.

The remaining 9 out of 10 hide in little cracks or in empty comb cells. If I turn one over a bee eagerly grabs it by the legs (as in the picture above) and flies off with it, but if they are right way up the beetles have too hard a shell for the bees to be able to do anything.

Now that the temperature is getting too cool for them to want to fly much I have to lay a stick bridge so they can get back into the hive after I’ve knocked off a big bunch from the lid when I go into the hive to chase the beetles. Once one crosses the bridge she’s quickly followed by the hundred or more stumbling around in the weeds.

I don’t know if they are practicing clustering to keep warm for winter but they are up to something. I put my ear to each level of the hive and hear quite a different buzz from each one but don’t know what they’re trying to tell me yet. The cluster on the left below was hanging from a honey comb frame I’d removed while looking for beetles. It was from the top box so the queen should not have been there.