Monday, September 19, 2022

The Bees Came Back


We're keeping bees again after a long time off.  Work and life just made it too hard to keep bees for a while. Then, this spring, a swarm landed in some old equipment we had and suddenly we were beekeepers again.  The equipment was in a horrible state with wax moth, mold, and mouse damage but the bees cleaned it up. It was shocking, really. 

It was like they bought a fixer upper and really went to town, all marble countertops and prosumer appliances. I'd have never put bees on that equipment in a million years. Still, with some help, they thrived.  I've never seen such good bees.  The docile, not prone to fight, the queen lays in a really nice pattern. 

I should have paid more attention to them in the drought but they came late, being a swarm, and I had to move them to a friend's property for a bit.  Out of sight out of mind as they say. Still they soldiered on and look like one of the best colonies I've seen. 

I was lucky enough to keep bees with Ross Conrad in Vermont this summer for a day.  I learned quite a few things about mite treatment and where it's come since we stopped.  Ross was just also a fantastic bee keeper, so smooth and efficient.  Keeping with him really lit the fire again. You wouldn't think beekeeping could be like athletics or dance but it is.  When you see someone really good at anything it's just graceful. 

Anyway, these bees seem to be in great health.  I enjoy them roaring away in the evenings with that stinky sock smell that only comes from goldenrod nectar. They seem to me like one of the strongest hives in September I can recall. Maybe I'm just misty eyed about them.  

Next year we'll be a real apiary again, with a few hives at least. And these bees, yes, they really do roar at night. 

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