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An email from fellow blogger Cindy Shea got me thinking about my bees. Winter has curtailed my daily walks out to the hive, tea in hand to check the ladies, as the sun rises. Sometimes it wasn’t warm enough and a sharp rap on the side with my knuckles resulted in the loud hum of a disturbed sleepy colony.

Though they are wrapped in their winter cozies, I know life is continuing within, This winter has been warm to start, then bitter cold arrived with little snow to insulate. In year’s past I’ve recorded thousands of dead bodies outside the hive; the snow littered with fragile, brown corpses. If my calculations are right, the queen has commenced to laying again and the workers have gone through a cycle of birth and death while she rested.

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I dug out all my bee books.  Some are ancient texts written almost forty years ago, others are more fictional accounts. They all serve to whet my appetite to learn and retain more for the upcoming season.

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I follow bee keeping blogs and forums, print out articles and highlight passages everywhere in the hope I will be a better steward to the colony. This one was particularly interesting though I felt the financial start-up numbers were quite high, http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/so-you-want-to-bee-a-beekeeper-zbcz1501.aspx#axzz3P4qNi4UI.

Bee keeping is not an exact science. Unlike cooking, which has prescribed timing and complimentary rules of ingredients, this pursuit has no rules. A colony exists in its own rhythm and the effects of the environment are greater than my minor efforts. Regardless of my good intentions or perhaps because of them, it is an entity unto itself and I am merely an observer at worse, a participant at best.

15 comments on “Bees

  1. julieallyn says:

    Sounds like an interesting hobby. I assume you harvest the honey?

    1. Julie I only took about 13 pounds this year but hoping for more in the coming year. I left as much as possible as winter stores to help them make it through…

  2. Seeing honey bees in the yard always cheers me. Sometimes in between cold fronts they get out and look for any flowers around. Sun is welcomed by everyone!

    1. When it is warmish, they come out for “cleansing” flights here…nothing to gather but they are such hygienic little beings!

  3. Maybe some day you’ll have a honey business!

  4. Marie Keates says:

    I have seen the odd bee out and about even now, but then we have had a warm winter so far and there are lots of unseasonal flowers about in sheltered corners. I hope your hive services and thrives. I’m looking forward to more posts about it as the weather warms.

  5. Touring NH says:

    You’ve come so far with your bee keeping. It’s been interesting to follow along with your education.

    1. thanks Laura, it is a never ending education! Like life itself!!

  6. Jodi Turner says:

    I had no idea you’ve blogged so much about your n=bee journey – Fascinating!

    1. Thanks Jodi! I try to keep up with the journey on my blog so others can enjoy it as well. I would not be where I am today without your patient guidance and wisdom!!

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