After misty, coldness all day Monday and part of Tuesday, today has dawned bright and sunny with the bees taking off as soon as the sun hit the hive. We have situated them at the back end of the garden facing East where the sun hits the hive as soon as it's up. I have left the collard greens even though they are way past harvest, because they are covered with yellow flowers that the local wild bees love.
They still have nothing to eat in the hive yet, so per Pete's instruction, I attached a quart jar feeder on the front filled with a 50% sugar water solution. They have consumed half of it already.
While watching them yesterday, I observed them defending the hive from an enemy (not me!). I have read that other bees and insects and even mammals will try and steal honey which is one reason to keep the opening into the hive small - easier for them to defend.
While observing them coming and going yesterday afternoon, I saw a sudden "commotion" just inside the opening and suddenly a group of 6 or 8 bees squeezed out with a insect that looked like a bee but darker and slightly bigger clenched in the middle. Several bees quickly stung the intruder and dumped him over the landing edge. Bees can only sting once and they die because they leave their stinger in their victim, so those bees died defending their home. Such heroics! I could make an analogy with our military folks, but I think that's unnecessary - I tell every person I see in uniform that they are my hero...
Isaiah 5:21-23 (New International Version)
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing drinks,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.