Live from the hive: March 2015

“Until the Next Bloom” by Annie Watson, Thistle Hill Studio

BeehiveIt was a difficult winter for the bees. At my house in the Champlain Valley, only one out of three colonies remains alive. We gave them a super of honey, and hope that they will make it through.

My beekeeper friend Bob writes: “Out of 16 colonies, 9 are still alive.  Some, like the one at Annie’s, look quite strong, but others appear that they’ll have to struggle to make the 8 weeks to dandelion season.” There are a few blooms before dandelions — the various willows being the main one — but we don’t know if that will be enough for the bees.

My brother Peter Watson, passed from this life a week ago. He, too, had been a home beekeeper at times. I remember a huge wild hive high up in the big tree outside Peter’s workshop near Rochester, New York. Peter was always in touch with nature and always kept an eye on where there were honey bees.

The bees teach us that life must continue, and those left behind must valiantly strive to keep family and hearth together until the next bloom.