Get Outside—See Cool Stuff

The swarm--apologies for the image quality; I'm allergic to bee stings.

The swarm–apologies for the image quality; I’m allergic to bee stings.

I’m trying to make myself go out for a walk at lunchtime every day. I’ll admit that I can be a bit of a slave driver when I’m working, and I don’t always manage it. I have a tendency to simply work through lunch, and then suddenly discover it’s late afternoon.

In truth, the walks available to me from my front door aren’t necessarily all that inspiring—endless agricultural fields in every direction.

But you can’t experience anything if you don’t first go out. Yesterday, I took the most boring of the boring walks from my house—the one that doesn’t offer so much as a mailbox for the first kilometre. Don’t ask why I chose that way—maybe I wanted to clear my mind, as I’d been doing intense editing all morning.

On this most boring of walks, I happened to see something awesome—a honey bee swarm.

We are blessed with many nearby apiaries, and I always have a plentiful supply of bees to pollinate my garden vegetables, but even so, it’s unusual to spot a swarm. This one was hanging in a drooping mass off the neighbour’s fence.

Bees swarm to create a new colony. It’s usually the old queen who leaves her hive with a large portion of the workers. A new queen will hatch in her absence and take over the old hive.

The swarming bees leave the hive and gather nearby while scout bees search for a new hive location. This is what I saw—the resting swarm. It likely flew away to a new home within a few hours. Where those bees are now, I don’t know, but I hope they found a nice place nearby from which to visit my garden.

So, my most boring walk was amazing. That reminds me, I still haven’t gotten out for a walk today. Time to step away from the desk and get outside. Who knows what I might see?

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