Glensheen Welcomes Royalty
My name is Jaron, and I’ve been the Student Marketing Assistant at Glensheen for over a year now. More often than not, I am called the Glensheen Utility Knife. Because when someone needs an extra pair of hands they send me. My view here at Glensheen is unique as I work with events, tour guides, and office staff on a frequent basis. I also double as one of our butlers and can often be spotted delivering brochures and posters around the twin ports. I’m a student, double majoring in Linguistics and Computer Science. It is a part time passion to incorporate both into my daily life at Glensheen. Today, my role as the Utility Knife got me involved in some part time bee keeping…
Arrival of the Queens
With summer kicking off at Glensheen, we welcomed royalty into our midst! Two Queen Bees and their near thousand attendants each arrived at Glensheen coming all the way from California!
Despite the glamorous and well-loved life of a queen bee, their introduction to their subjects was rather dramatic. Stored in the bee cage shown above, the Queen and roughly 1,500 worker bees were placed together with a sugar water feeder for transportation to Glensheen. However the Queen wasn’t Queen yet.
A smaller “royal” suite within the bee cage protected the Queen while her new subjects adjusted to her scent. During the trip the bees quickly become addicted to their Queen’s scent, ensuring their loyalty. They are so addicted that if you carry their Queen’s cage with you her bees will follow you!
On the day of their arrival our head gardener Emily Ford, and her bee-mentor, John Otis, helped the bees through the process of hiving. Set with new, spacious hives, a pollen patty, and a sugar water drip to jump start the colony, the bees were left to settle into their new home.
The Bees’ First Week
As the marketing assistant, I quickly volunteered for a chance to take photos of the hive during the first week check in. Gearing up with Emily, a soon-to-bee master beekeeper, we opened up the hives to check on progress. To our delight, we found that both hives are doing well! And to my relief, we have some of the friendliest bees around.
As expected, we found all the good signs. Each hive had nearly 4–5 frames filling up with comb. When nearly eight frames have been filled, the hive will be expanded to include another level with ten more frames. Eventually the lower portion, called the deep hive, will house the queen and her brood while upper sections called supplements can be harvested for sweet, sweet honey.
During the process we kept an eye out for the Queens, but this advanced version of Where’s Waldo was beyond us. However, we know the queens are doing well because we found larva and eggs! Soon our hives will be bustling with bees born and raised at Glensheen!
An Estate fit for Royalty
Bees, as we all know, are the pollinating champions of the world. At Glensheen we have dozens upon dozens of flowers for our bees to forage from, but the bees will forage for food in a roughly 2 mile radius! So neighbors remember our bees are friends, not foes!
Like all creatures, bees need water, and surprisingly more than you’d think. Luckily Glensheen has three fresh water sources for the bees to drink from with Bent Brook, Tischer Creek, and Lake Superior all on the estate. If you want to see the beehives, head towards the formal gardens and tucked in a corner by the hedges are the beehives. One would think the often relentless wind coming off the lake would be an issue, but the garden hedges block it almost entirely.
Our bees are in great hands! Our head gardener, Emily Ford, took the University of Minnesota Bee Lab’s Beekeeping in Northern Climates to prepare for our new arrivals. The U of M’s Bee Lab is one of the best in the nation. In addition, John Otis, Glensheen’s bee-mentor, has already been a huge help. Lastly, a big thanks to Kelly Beekeeping and Miller Manufacturing for donating our beehives! Stay tuned for more updates on our bees!