Swarming Bees

Thousands of bees fill the air.
Thousands of bees fill the air.
After a week of unseasonably cool weather, the July 4th holiday weekend was happily hot.  This triggered a swarm response in my bees. Three swarms left the hives.  We captured 2 of the swarms, but had to let the 3rd swarm fly off because I had nowhere to put them.  We were all working outside that morning when we heard the buzzing sound get louder and louder. There was no mistaking that sound.  Looking up, the air was filled with bees.

We looked up from our work, and saw a sight, too common at this time of year, and yet always amazing.  Thousands of bees circling around, looking for a suitable temporary place to land.

Within minutes, they decided on a hawthorne tree just south of the apiary.  When the cluster had formed, we scoped out the situation and realized we could lop of a branch and carry it back to a ready hive box.

Charlie touches the cluster
Charlie touches the cluster

Charlie Ryan, our fearless intern, touched the hive and said, “It’s soft!”. Later, he was stung once on the forehead, but used a leaf of plantain as a poltice and was fine soon enough.  Charlie volunteered to be the branch lopper.  Sophia, who was visiting from Wash DC for the weekend, eagerly donned my spare coveralls and said she’d carry the branch back to the apiary.


We approached the cluster carefully and had to remove many small thorns, which give the HawTHORN tree its name, before Sophia could grab hold of the branch. When all was ready, Charlie lopped the branch while Sophia held it.  Then she held it high and walked to the apiary while I cried out “All hail the queen! Make way for the queen!”  This reminded me of the time when Sophia led her 2nd grade class at the Detroit Waldorf School on St Lucia Day.  As the oldest child in the class, she had the honor of dressing as St Lucia with a crown of candles on her head, leading a procession as her class brought special buns and coffee to all the classrooms.

But I digress.  The branch of bees was brought to the empty hive box, placed over the frames, given a good shake, and all the bees, including the queen, were transferred.  All is well in the apiary.

The cluster gets a new home.
The cluster gets a new home.
Hail to the Queen!
Hail to the Queen!

Women’s Days of Wholeness

women'a days of wholeness

Women’s Days of Wholeness


at Three Roods Farm

Join with other women of all ages on beautiful rural pasture and wooded land.

Experience walking meditation, circle sharing, and bringing up the creative force within.

Enjoy a lunch of wild green drink and farm salad.

Wild Women in the Woods

with Deanne Bednar

Wednesdays: June 24, July 8, July 22 10 am to 4 pm

Lessons in natural building and sustainable living skills. Could you survive in the wild?

Hands-on building of simple structures with natural local materials: sticks, earth and stone.

Wild Woman Writing

with Rae Bird

Wednesdays: July 1, July 15, July 29 10 am to 4 pm

For new writers or old, Wild Woman Writing offers a safe, women-only space to explore, listen to and express our truest hearts and lives, our most creative selves. This creative writing practice leads each, in their own way, deeper into their own knowing. Please bring writing materials.

Location: Three Roods Farm, 4281 Our Acres Drive, Columbiaville, MI, 48421

10 minutes north of Lapeer, 30 minutes East of Flint.

Teachers: Robin Mallor, RN, Beekeeper, Yoga Teacher, Dances of Universal Peace


Deanne Bednar, Coordinator and Project manager of the Strawbale Studio www.strawbale.pbworks.com

Rae Bird, Counselor and Trainer for Women’s Writing Workshops


Cost: $40 drop in fee, $100 for 3 days, or $180 for all 6 days

barter/trade possible if money is not available

contact Robin: rmallor@gmail.com or 810-441-1878

for more information and to reserve your place

“Wildlife and the wild woman are both endangered species…the feminine instinctive nature is relegated to the poorest land in the psyche. The spiritual lands of the wild woman have throughout history been plundered or burnt, dens bulldozed, and natural cycles forced into unnatural rhythms to please others…The modern woman is a blur of activity. She is pressured to be all things to all people. The old knowing is long overdue…” Clarrisa Pinkola Estes