Yesterday P and I drove down to the farm to check on the honeybees. I was nervous. I had heard reports of hive losses from several beekeepers and I was steeling myself for a hive of dead bees or, worse, an empty hive.
I popped off the telescoping cover and peered down through the slot in the inner cover. I saw several bees, frozen on the frames, and my heart sank. But as I looked deeper in the hive, I saw more bees and… they were moving!
I popped off the top deep (it’s a three-deep system) and, sure enough, a dense ball of bees were huddled on the center frames of the middle deep. It was too cold to pry out frames and look more closely, but I dug the frame tool down into the comb to check for honey. It came out dripping and P and I shared a little bite.
I was ecstatic. Not wanting to chill the bees further, I reassembled the hive but put my ear down to the top-bars before sealing it up. And I heard, nay felt, that deep, resonate humming that sounds to me like the current of life itself.
I’ll be back bearing pollen patties in a few weeks. If they’ve made it this far, there’s a good chance they’ll be a strong colony this summer. Pure joy.