THE GARDEN STORY

Retail Construction Services, Inc. is dedicated to giving back.

We give back not only to those in need within our community, but also the future generations of this wonderful community. What started out as a great idea has grown exponentially and has become an amazing reality. Here at the RCS Giving Garden, school groups, master gardeners, corporate volunteers, and our own employees work together for the common good of teaching children the art of gardening and the importance of healthy eating. Click Here for Full Story.

LOCATION:
Retail Construction Services, Inc.
11343 39th Street N.
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

From HWY 36 - go south on Lake Elmo Ave, turn left onto 39th Street, garden is at corner of 39th and Laverne.
From HWY 5- going west from Stillwater take right onto Laverne (near Fury dealership) garden is on the right at corner of Laverne and 39th street.

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The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden

6/4/15

Bee Orientation and Cleansing Flight!

NOTE: The first video below was taken by Dan in our office on his cell phone. The second video is a good example from YouTube of what this Orientation Cleansing Flight looked like.
I received a call from Molly to come to their office right away and see something.  When I got to their office, employees were hovered around the windows facing our bee hives.  I saw what their concern was when I looked outside.

There were HUNDREDS of bees out of the hive!  It looked like a cloud around the hives and,  if you put your ear to the window, you could hear them.     I called A.J. Moses, our beekeeper, on his cell phone to let him know we may have a swarm.  He had me describe what is looked like.  By this time some of us were standing outside, a safe distance from the bees, but the sound they made was a very, very loud hum.
A.J. was certain that what we were witnessing, for the first time with our hives, was a Bee Orientation and Cleansing Flight, or as he also called it, an orientation dance.  He said that we have a couple of conditions that lead him to this conclusion.  First, we have had several days of rain.  Second, the queen bee has been very busy laying eggs and those eggs have been hatching.  After emerging from their cells, the bees do chores inside the hive.  Once they are older, it is time for them to forage for honey.  During an orientation flight, the bees fly around, remembering the location of the hive and identify the area around.  That combined with the wet weather (bee's won't eliminate waste in their hive), were the perfect ingredients for an Orientation Cleansing Flight!  

He asked me to keep him updated, but he would try and drive over in about 45 minutes to make sure that the hive did not swarm and leave.  

The staff continued to watch the hundreds of bees swarming around the hives.  They also had fun reciting a saying that Curt shared with us; "A swarm in May is work a bale of hay, and a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July isn't work a fly!"  In researching this saying, it seems to traveled over to the US with European farmers. Curt always has the best sayings! 

About 20 minutes later, all of the bees began returning to the hive.  I called A.J. back and he confirmed, this was an Orientation Cleansing Flight.  

This is the first time we have witnessed this at the office!  As Toni said "This is SO cool, Who would have known???!!!"

Our honey bee's have taught us many things here at RCS, but today's lessons was very exciting!

- Contributed by Joni Fletty