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Wanna See Something Cool?

weather: cloudy
outside: 15.0°C
mood: giddy
We had a box of random householdie stuff sitting outside on the back patio/deck for years. We'd known that bees had made a hive in it because we saw a lot of bees flying in and out of a little hole where the flaps met. It's been abandoned for a while now and this summer, my Mother-In-Law decided to clean up the deck to get it re-stained.


We finally opened that box in July and took pictures. They're in the Wasp Hive Gallery.

The hive was all over the box flaps and wedged in between the stuff inside. It was wrapped around the handle of a bottle of Windex.

It felt like it was made out of coarse, but delicate tissue paper. Delicate enough that I though it would melt from the heat of my hands. The chambers are made in haphazard circular blobs that are built up in layers, far from the perfect hexagonal honeycomb pattern that we most popularly associate with beehives. It was cool to see the layers of white to brown and all the different shades in between.

We didn't slice it open to look at a cross-section.

They were going to throw it away, but I thought it would be nice to give it to one of the local elementary schools so that the kids could see it. We haven't had the time to deliver it to the school yet. They're only open between 9am - 3pm. I'd either have to take time off to do it or get my Mother-In-Law to.

[Update]

So, now that I Googled for pictures, this is probably a wasp hive. I just saw yellow and black striped things, so I called that "a bee", but I don't know my insects without Google =} That might make more sense, but it's funnier to think that the bees were just baked or high on crystal meth. Hey, this IS Vancouver, there could be a grow op or lab in a neighbourhood near you.

I'm also imagining this stupid conversation:

Drones: *chewchewchew* *spit* *buildbuildbuild*
One drone, the big one named "Moose" [to the others]: "Duh, hey guys? Aren't we supposed to be doing hexagons?"
Queen: "SCREW the hexagons! Winter is coming! Hurry UP!"

XD XD


Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
incognita
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)
That's so cool!! And what a great idea to give it to an elementary school :D
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was debating which one to give it to, we're right smack dab in the middle of three public schools and there are also two private schools nearby... =}
yueni
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:25 am (UTC)
That is so beautiful.
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:26 am (UTC)
Isn't it? It's all imperfect and natural =)
karinakarina
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC)
it looks like melted milk chocolate.
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC)
Yes! =)
karinakarina
Sep. 11th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
i curious why it's not the normal honeycomb shape.
xinit
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Might not have been bees, but wasps?
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
Very possibly. Now that I Google for pictures, they probably were wasps. I just saw yellow and black striped things, so I called that "a bee", but I don't know my insects without Google =}
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
I figure it could be one of a few things.

Either the honeycomb-to-beehive association is something we made up culturally just for the children and doesn't actually occur in nature that way.

Or the species of bees that specifically produce honey _do_ make hexagonal patterned chambers, but this one that we've found is not that type of bee.

Or, our bees are on crack.
(Deleted comment)
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a bit sad that we've come this far from nature that it's a special thing to see a wasp hive... but it would be nice to inspire the kids, even just for a moment.
sertrel
Sep. 11th, 2005 07:29 am (UTC)
Where did the bees go?
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC)
Dunno... they just left. We kicked the box and didn't get swarmed =D

We also didn't cut open the hive, so there could be a whole pile of dead bee corpses in there...

I could have swore they were there for a few years, dying off in great numbers in the winter, leaving just the queen and a few drones (or however that works) and then rebuilding in the spring. But the Brother-in-Law says they were only there for one year.
jenny_rambles
Sep. 11th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
That looks so incredible - and what an awesome idea to give it to the school!
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a bit sad that we've come this far from nature that it's a special thing to see a wasp hive... but it would be nice to inspire the kids, even just for a moment.
keenerblog
Sep. 11th, 2005 09:09 am (UTC)
It looks like those biscuits you find in a Chinese bakery (argh I can't remember what they're called...)
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
They're crispy little biscuit things, right? Cow ears? Pig ears? I love those too =)
diannadinoble
Sep. 11th, 2005 12:16 pm (UTC)
That's really quite beautiful, I have never seen a bee hive up close. Greatidea giving it to a school.

...what a strange place to make a hive...
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
=) It was inside a box so it would have been very sheltered from the elements. I think that's why the colours are still so vibrant, because was so protected. All the pictures of hives I've seen that are hanging from trees are grey-ish coloured.
thisisme9556
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
Was the nest abandoned? If so it was probably some sort of wasp species that built it because they do not reuse their nests from year to year.
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Very possibly. Now that I Google for pictures, they probably were wasps. I just saw yellow and black striped things, so I called that "a bee", but I don't know my insects without Google =}

I could have swore they were there for a few years, dying off in great numbers in the winter, leaving just the queen and a few drones (or however that works) and then rebuilding in the spring. But the Brother-in-Law says they were only there for one year.
thisisme9556
Sep. 11th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
I think most of use see what looks like a stinging insect and say "bee". I too need to Google my insects to see what they truly are.

At least it is empty now and you did not set stung!

I think giving it to a school is a great idea. If you cannot choose which elementary school to give it too, is there a way to split in into 3 parts and send pictures of the whole thing with each piece?
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Hee, I do know that stinging and flying things that aren't yellow and black striped are wasps... I think bees are at least a little furry (all the better to cross-pollenate plants with) and wasps have no hair at all.
thisisme9556
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
That more than I know. I just know that I do not want to be stung!
kaseido
Sep. 11th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC)
Extraordinary pictures! Thank you!

My guess would've been paper wasps...
bride
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I Googled for paper wasps and it looks like they make perfect hexagonal chambers too.
kaseido
Sep. 11th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
ah, well - another fine theory undone by reality! :P
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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