Fretting  (2011)  by Mary

It is said that if you get three beekeepers together, you get four opinions on how it is done. I guess it is true because we've read that the best thing to do for a hive is leave it alone, and we've read we should regularly check on it. Well, I tend to fret. My main concern is whether there are always enough flowering plants for the bees to gather pollen, and I'm not sure we even have the type of plants they like. Having said that, I recently read how the dandelion can be the bee's salvation as they bloom most of the season, and suddenly, the yard full of dandelions has taken on a cause.

It is interesting and amazing all that goes on in that little community of bees, and there are bee keepers, classes and clubs in most cities, and article after article in the paper and magazines. Another reason for the interest is that the bees are struggling to overcome diseases and pesticides, and people want to help. We have no idea if our bees will be safe since they are in the middle of chemical farm country. Silly me wants to say, "Now don't be going out to lunch little bees, but gather your nectar here at home!" Larry, however, frets that they won't have enough water after reading about how much they need. (We have a spring not that far away!) And he worries they won't have enough room in their hive and decide to swarm. Now why would they want to leave our nice hive to find a new home? It definitely is a little stressful having bees for a hobby when we don't know what we are doing.

Picture: I decided to put on the paraphernalia, and take a peek. I wanted to make sure that "if you move slowly, they don't get upset and sting," applied to me! Also, a good time to check on them is midday when most are out gathering nectar. Now, I'm brave enough to skip the suit.  


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