Something very strange is going on with our bee hive. This is our third year with bees, and we’ve gotten used to the way beekeeping goes. You get a hive in spring, and it looks good for a while. You open it up, and there’s some spotty brood, enough to keep the colony limping along. […]

Colony collapse and me

So far, our bees have been nothing but heartbreak. Two years ago, we got our first two hives, neither of which survived that first winter. Last year, we were on the receiving ends of two hives that had been removed from houses, but we got them late in the season. Despite heroic measures and expert […]

Bee is for broken-hearted

Since we left New York, Kevin and I have undertaken more new projects than two fifty-year-olds have any business attempting. And it is with surprise and gratification that we have seen most of them go well. We’ve raised chickens, turkeys, and ducks. We’ve designed and built coops, pens, and a hoophouse. We’ve grown a whole […]

More new bees

We’re about a month into our effort to get a weak bee hive, taken from the soffit of a house in Cotuit, strong enough to survive the coming winter. Our friends Claire and Paul have helped us take the heroic measures required: adding two frames of brood and nurse bees, and replacing the lackluster queen. […]

The queen is dead. Long live the queen.

Killing a queen bee is a strange experience. The queen is the hive. Her eggs populate it. Her pheromones suffuse it. Worker bees attend to her every want, and beekeepers watch to make sure she’s healthy and prolific. When you spot her, and take her between thumb and forefinger, you’ve got the hive’s future in […]