March 24, 2009

White House Hive

My friend Charlie is the White House beekeeper, and I got to know him when he invited me to help him pitch bees to the staff and residents of our Executive Mansion. My role in that project is over, but as beekeepers we are still here to help each other out. Here are some pictures from Charlie, and from outside the South Lawn fence for you other beekeepers who are enjoying this new hive.

You can click on these photos for slightly larger images. I'm not offering the high resolution versions, but they may be available through an official channel at some point.

The Hive Moves In

the brood boxes on high hive stand Charlie moved the hive in two deep boxes. He painted them two colors on purpose: he felt it could be educational for the public to observe the process of reversing as he manages the hive for swarm control. The hive stand is Charlie's own work, its configuration responds to requirements of the site, and working the hive will require a stepladder of sorts. The legs are set in concrete. Helicopters land not so far away, after all!

brood chambers with feeder and straps Here are the brood boxes with a feeder added, and one unusual feature: transportation straps in place for continuous use. This is a second accommodation made for the peculiarities of the site: in this case to remove any possibility that the hive could be knocked over by helicopter wash, overzealous groundskeeping, or the like! Personally, I am a big believer in propolis, but then again this is a new hive!

larger landscape view of white house bees

This is my crummy photo from outside the fence, just to show you the whole, heart-pounding truth: there are bees just outside the White House, at the nerve center of the U.S. capital city. The bees don't seem impressed, though.

larger view of white house hive through the trees

This is the closest view you can get from outside the fence, but your eyes would definitely do a better job than my camera.







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