Saturday, May 15, 2010

Outside the Hive

I'm revising hard for my preliminary beekeeping exam next week and have been poring over past papers. Some of the questions are harder to answer than others. It is tempting to embellish the answers. For instance,

Q. How many legs does a bee have?

A. Spider minus Bert = Bee


A. Kune Kune plus Nelly = Bee

Or what about this one? It deserves a fuller answer.

On a warm sunny day in spring, what observation from outside the hive would suggest that the colony has wintered safely?

On a warm sunny day in spring the observer will first notice four furry creatures being expelled from the hive. At least two of these creatures will be admitted soon afterwards. At around 8:30 am the observer will note a worker bee leaving the hive and getting into a car. Usually she will sit there for a few moments adjusting her iPod before getting out of the car, re-entering the hive muttering "Shit, shit, shit!", before emerging again clutching a bunch of keys. The worker will then drive off on a foraging expedition. As the observer watches he will see a number of worker bees enter the hive. These are attendant bees whose job it is to look after the old Queen. Before long they are off again although they will make several return trips throughout the day.

Later in the morning. some say between 9 and 9.30am, although regular observers have noted that this can be as late as ten o'clock the drone emerges from the hive yawning and scratching. He gives a shiver of distaste at the bright light and soon returns to the warmth and safety of the hive not to emerge again until at least midday.

By the way Bert says this is a rotten answer which will get me nul points.


Grannymar said...

I think you should get bonus points for those informative and entertaining answers. Go to the top of the class and give out the pencils!

Brighid said...

Great answers yours. Give the test grader an interesting day.Go for it!