Backyard Bees

So, meet my backyard. The little cedar-roofed structure under the purple Japanese Maple is my beehive. I’m a first timer. So far, it’s been super interesting. I’m utterly in love with them.

A couple weeks ago, they swarmed and rested in my neighbour’s tree. We didn’t notice until it was dusk and stormy weather was heading in, so we knew that we would have to wait until morning to catch them. 
They were so beautiful, hanging there, flapping in the increasingly strong wind, in perfect form – the same shape as the hive they left. It’s a top bar hive. It’s very bee-friendly and relatively easy to manage. It’s shaped like a beheaded inverted triangle trough. Haha, you can totally picture that, right. No? Okay, here are some photos, and a bit on the process of building it.
We did catch them – I was up all night like a kid at Christmas. I watched a few youtube videos of others catching swarms and I couldn’t believe how easy it looked. And it was. My neighbour joined me, and we caught the swarm. I was able to divide the hive into two separate hives by use of a dividing board called a follower board, and after a day or two, I put the swarm in the empty side.  They seem to be doing fine. 
I dove into the drawing/watercolour painting today on some Fabriano Acid Free paper. It’s got a stiff, slightly porous feel and took the paint really well. The difference paper can make! I slowly built up the layers, letting them dry in between.  I think I’m becoming less timid with watercolour and was ready to keep adding until I was satisfied with the depth of colour. I used a brush I bought while in Malaysia (or was it Singapore? It was many, many years ago) at a porcelain factory in grade 10. I have no idea what it’s made from, but you can see the picture below.
I really enjoyed my afternoon on my back deck. It wasn’t too hot, my Hubby took the kids out and it was just me and the dog and an excellent audio book, A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki. What a nice way to spend a Saturday. 

More about Julie Prescesky

Julie spends much of her time paying attention to what's happening around her. At Design Inkarnation, she's head designer, illustrator, writer and creative problem solver.

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