Bees and Edible Fungus

bee necks Look at all the little white bee necks!  Cute!  I love it when you see bees craning their heads.

Lorraine and I checked the hives on Wednesday and most is going very well.  The yellow Hannah hive and the green Wendy hive are still working their honey supers.  We removed the bell jar from the Wendy hive, the bees weren't really building in it and we also noticed that the honey right cells right below the bell jar was not capped.  Groundskeeper Hans check the hives last weekend and thought he saw condensation inside the jar too.  I decided to remove it, fearing that the recent heat and humidity was affecting the hive.

queen cell

The red Juliet hive appears to have swarmed.  It was quieter in the front and there did not seem to be as many workers in the hive.  We took out a frame and found some in progress queen cells...and now I just noticed an egg in that empty cell on the left, maybe she hasn't swarmed yet?  This hive is behaving very much like our very first Kitty hive.  I remember Kitty was a little behind and still had some space in her hive, but still went into swarm mode.  The red Juliet hive had plenty of room, I added a third brood box early and both the middle and top boxes were not completely filled and this hive apparently still feels crowded and swarming is a good idea.  I'm concerned about this hive filling out her box enough for winter, but not so much about the swarm.


If she wants to swarm, I'm not going to stop her.  We have set up an empty hive in our bee yard in the hopes that a swarm will move in, but that's has far as I want to go.  Bees do what they want to do sometimes.

After the bee inspection, I went around to take photos.  I was just about to leave when I thought that it's been kind of humid, I should check the oak for sulphur shelf. Alas, no sulphur shelf and I thought, "I should check the other oak for Hen of the Woods, but it seems early."  I almost turned around to leave but thought that I walked that far, I might as well check.

hen of the woods

Boy, am I glad I did!  I found Hen of the Woods!  A whole month earlier than I normally do thanks to our very cool summer weather--this is my FAVORITE edible mushroom.  I ran back to the house grabbed Lorraine and Groundskeeper Hans to show them.  As I was harvesting the tasty edible fungus, I marveled at how we almost missed it and found some start up of more Hen of the Woods next to this large clump, so hopefully more will come.  This was a bit older than what I normally harvest, but I was able to get all the bugs out before I froze it.

wood frog

This wood frog hopped out of the clump as I cut off the brackets.  I'm sure it was after all the bugs crawling around it.  I left some behind in the hopes that spores would grow more fungus and so the frog could have some bugs since I disturbed his bug buffet.