Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time to Start Anew

Well, it's official. The bees are gone. Bee Partner Linda and I didn't even suit up to crack all three hives open last weekend to check them. There's been no activity at the hive openings, so we feared the worst. It was still disappointing. There were a few sad clusters of dead bees, as if they'd clung together 'til the end. Small consolation that this is the story all over the region. The combination last year of too wet, then too dry, too cold, then too hot. . . Feeding them didn't help after all. With the help of our mentor, Frank, we'll determine if mites might have been part of their demise as well.

Linda and I start our BANV bee class next month and will order two new sets of queens and entourage. We certainly have all the equipment and the determination. Bee sisters Jan and Nora have moved, so Linda and I are it. Jan retired to her farmette in Lexington, perhaps to start her own hives, and Nora moved to Boston to be nearer her boyfriend and hopefully to find a job she loves too.

So stay tuned. We have a lot of house hive cleaning to do, new frames and foundation to put together. I'm going to seek out our own honey harvesting equipment too. Ever optimistic am I!

2 comments:

Kathleen said...

That makes me sad to read about the bees. They did last a while, though. Better luck with the next group.

Anne Cassidy said...

Hi Kathy,
I'm sorry to read about your bees.
Thought of you this morning when I read this on Writer's Almanac and thought writing you a comment would be the best way to share it with you.
Anne C.

The February Bee

by Nancy Willard

The bumblebee crept out on the stone steps.
No roses. Nothing to gather.
Nothing but itself, the cold air,
and the spring light.
It rubbed its legs together
as if it wished to start a fire
and wear its warmth.
Under its smart yellow bands
the black body shone like patent leather.
It groomed itself, like a pilot
ready for takeoff and yet not ready:
when my shadow fell over him
he flicked his wings, checking them,
and took off into the bare garden.

"The February Bee" by Nancy Willard, from The Sea At Truro. © Knopf, 2012. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)