My New Toy… I Mean Tool

This is a big “THANK YOU” to the whole family for investing in my life in a great way a few months ago. Family members went together to give me a camera as a gift – and I have been putting it to use ever since. Of course I’m always taking pictures of bees, so the “macro lens” has been perfect. Here are a few pictures. Thank you family!

Chickadee eating Staghorn Sumac berries in February-2014 Wild Clamatis (Virgin's Bower) seeds in March-2014

Sumac and Virgin’s Bower are both great bee plants…

Red Maple Bloom, April 2-2014 (Notice trees in background too.) Red Maple Bloom (Greenish pollen on anthers)

Honey Bee working Red Maple, April 2, 2014 Note pollen on bee's "pollen baskets"I’ve always wanted to get some pictures of Red Maple Bloom. God even blessed me with a honey bee to come by the same branches I was standing on, close enough for me to snap a few photos!

The camera has also been useful in documenting other beekeeping events which can be using in teaching. Here are two pictures of a dead honey bee colony showing the cause of death…

Good-sized cluster - why did they die? Shaking the bees off revealed the brood they would not leave.

The photo on the left shows a good sized cluster of bees with a marked queen in the center, and not a bit of food in any of the surrounding comb. This cluster was in the lower of the two brood chamber boxes. The box on top contained honey, and the bees had consumed some of it – but the whole cluster had not migrated up to where they needed to be to avoid starvation. Why did they remain in the lower box to starve? Shaking the bees off the frame revealed a patch of brood that they refused to abandon (right photo). Don’t that just tear yer heart t’pieces?

But death is not the end for the children of God who sacrifice themselves for others. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:10-12

“And behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” – Revelation 22:12

Honey Bee on Crocus, March 2014 With Resurrection Day less than a week away, I want to say “…thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57-58


  1. Donald S. April 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    “To every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). These pictures continue to increase my appreciation for spring this year as well as for Resurrection Day and the cycles of birth, death and supernatural fulfillment of the vision God gives us. It seems we’ve had more than one winter!

  2. Crystal April 19, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Neat shots! Happy birthday!

    The poor bees! What an example of a Shepherd giving His life for the flock, and the Christian’s call to protect the vulnerable entrusted to their care to the best of their ability.

    Did the brood survive?

  3. Michael April 24, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    Unfortunately the brood did not survive. Honey bee brood is very sensitive to high or low temperatures, and once the bees died the brood then died as well. The instinct for the bees to cluster on the brood and protect it is very important for their survival. 99% of the time it is to their benefit to do this. Through most of the year, nighttime temperatures are dangerously cold for brood, and by keeping it warm, the bees reap the reward of a growing population. But the bees have no way of knowing how long the cold will last. Colonies that allow themselves to go broodless for a period of time in the winter are more flexible and less likely to be trapped in this way. Remember though, that the time a colony can survive without brood is also limited, so it is a dangerous game!

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