Volume 1, number 5
Welcome to The Friday Bee Chronicles, a weekly installment of beekeeping adventures from a different perspective. This isn’t a how-to column; instead it’s more of a why-I-did column and a thoughtful look at beekeeping that’s about more than bees.
Since the deep freeze just before Thanksgiving, we’ve had a roller coaster of temperatures. Mostly I remember mornings in the single digits, fingers and toes stinging not more than a quarter mile into my morning walk with my dog. A couple days there, Wally got no farther than the culvert at the bottom of the hill before lifting his paws and looking at me as if he’d had enough. “There, I did what I needed to do. Let’s go back. I can’t feel my feet.” Only I am compulsive enough to tough it out the rest of the way some days.
Wildlife has no choice but to hunker down and endure. I called Tim a couple of times, hopelessly worried beekeeper that I was, and asked if there was anything I could do. A windbreak? Cover the screened bottom board? “They’re fine,” he said. “Remember, they live outside all the time. It’s natural for them. Their hive is maintained at a comfy 80 degrees when they’re all clustered. Have faith in them.”
I do have faith in my bees, or at least faith in the natural order of things. They will survive or not – beekeepers can help but nature will do what it does best in the long run. We’re all waiting on spring. But even spring with its ephemeral pools comes and goes, indispensable to life at the moment but forgotten deep in the summer or at the edge of winter. Nature lives in the present tense; it doesn’t lament or crave anything more than it is. And so we wait. And have faith.
Janice Sina, former biology teacher turned veterinary assistant, observes and writes about nature from her East Haddam home. She is a contributing writer to wisewomennow.com and has written for Dog Fancy Magazine and This I Believe (thisibelieve.org).