Theme of the day: Animals
Our second day on the Caminho do Dão was full of them: animals! Serendipity came in as a close second and the pieces of Mica on our path literally made the trail sparkle, but it were really the animals that were the brightest highlights on our Caminho today. On a 8 km stretch of Dão river valley we crossed paths with an otter, the kingfisher, many lizards off course, a swarming bee colony, a group of Bee-eaters, grasshoppers 10cm in size and at the end end of our day small horse shoe whip snake on the staircase to our house just to bring us some more luck as the Portuguese believe (I have once been told).
Nadine and I both saw animals and events we had never seen before. It was Nadine's first time to see a bee colony swarm and my first time seeing Bee-Eaters. Nadine took a bee-keeping course a few years ago and told me what happens when a bee colony starts swarming.
Bees start swarming when the old queen leaves the hive with half of the population. This happens when the hive gets too crowded and a new Queen ‘is in the making’. The swarm will fly out and find a place to ‘hang out’ until the scout bees of the swarm have found a good new place for the colony to settle. Then the swarm flies out again to their new place to nest. If the beekeeper is nearby or knows his colony is swarming he will probably ‘scoop up’ the colony and place it in a new beehive.