I fell a little behind in documenting the safari from October. We spent a couple of days in Johannesburg and a day in Pretoria. The different branches of government in South Africa are located in separate cities, so Pretoria is the administrative (executive branch) capital, Cape Town is the legislative capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital, and Johannesburg is the largest city. It was interesting to spend a day in Johannesburg and get one perspective on the country followed by a day in Pretoria to get a very different perspective.
You can watch the video slideshow version or browse through way too many photos or just go about your life without doing either.
Long drive from MalaMala (near Kruger National Park) to Johannesburg, via the loosely-defined Panorama Route (God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck, Graskop, etc.)
I relax best when I’m watching something else work really hard. Here’s a hummingbird in slow-motion (25% of normal) from last night. You can see his long tongue flick out at the very beginning. Also, backyard bird sounds at 1/4 speed are freaky!
My hive didn’t do so well over the winter. The queen is still there but I only found a few hundred bees around her (normal hive is in the tens of thousands – healthy hive is 70,000). I moved them to a nuc (small 5-frame box) to see if they can turn things around — if they do, I’ll have two hives.
I ordered a new package of bees, which I installed Saturday. Today I released the queen who stays in her own cage for several days until the new bees (who aren’t her kin) decide she smells ok and can be their matriarch. She has already mated with some drones in California, so she has all she needs to lay up to 2,000 eggs a day (less in the winter) for 5 years or so. The other bees’ job is to keep the queen alive and prepare cells so she can lay eggs that will hatch into their replacements. Tough life. After a month or so the whole hive will be the new queen’s progeny.
Here’s a little video, at half speed, of today’s hive entrance activity –
And some photos –
Peach blossom harvest
Installing the bee package (plastic white box at my feet)
Bees are pretty interested in the queen who is in that corner of the hive (but inside)
Coming in for a landing
Peach blossom harvest
Orange-legged one on the right (facing down with spread wings) is bringing in pollen