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Angelic Alchemist
05-02-2010, 12:16 AM
See photo - this is a wild hive that has lived in the wall of a shop at the Texas Renaissance Festival for 3-4 years. About once a year, the colony makes a new queen then half of the colony splits off and swarms to make a new home with the old queen. We happened to walk up as they were preparing to do so this weekend.

If you look to the right of the entrance to the hive (in the middle of the colony) you can see the thick ball of bees protecting the old queen.

wayneb
05-02-2010, 11:40 AM
That is so cool. If ever they decide that the colony needs to be moved (someone may someday complain about the bees), you should see what could be done to harvest any honey that may be there. Mead from RenFaire honey - that's something all my Faire and SCA friends would stampede to try! ;)

Angelic Alchemist
05-02-2010, 11:49 AM
The people who currently own the booth want to keep the hive. They'd like to put a glass window in so they can see them. When you lean against the wall, you can feel it humm. :D

Kerry is going to go up to the faire today and put out a bee trap next to the swarming half of the colony. If he can scoop the queen into the box, the bees will go in after her. Then, we hope to put the new hive behind one of our friends shops if we can get the festival's permission to do so.

And yes, I'm waaaaay ahead of you! Honey from a Ren Fest for mead making! We also picked about 10lbs of blackberries while on site yesterday. It'll be I think I'll call it "Stolen Blackberry Melomel" -- has a nice ring to it.