I am gratified by a few lovely responses to my last post about bees. I have always loved them — OK, at first for their looks, I admit — and have frequently populated my tapestries with bees. They keep the surface lively and we know that they have deeply important lives, as we humans assume we have as well.
Last week Ben successfully installed a new queen. Unlike our own political elections, the hive is a matriarchal monarchy, but inserting a new queen when the old one has died is a tricky business. I am still astonished that you receive bees through the US mail! She arrives in a little box with a wire screen lid and four attendants. The exit door is blocked by a sugar cube which provides nourishment. They help her eat through that to freedom once installed the hive, and presumably they escort and defend her on arrival. It takes a while for her subjects to accept her. (A good topic for Obama’s first 100 days!) The first new queen didn’t get out of the box: t hey all tragically died inside, but queenie #2 (#3 if you count the first queen who died) is happily installed & laying her 2000 eggs per diem now. What a job!
Summer arrived abruptly this week and I have summer fever — the air is wonderful! and a fresh desire to get to the loom. First I must go to install some tapestries for an exhibition at St Meinrad’s Archabbey in southeastern Indiana, tomorrow. A very interesting place. More soon.
(the tapestry shown is Big Sunflowers from a number of years ago; it is a good example of bees in my work)