We are not yet beekeepers. We are more like “bee putter in boxers.” It was the “keeping” part that gave us trouble.
Last week we purchased a package of bees, and with the utmost care and attention, sure that we were following all the sage advice that the internet and the library had to offer, we introduced them into their swanky new top bar hive that I built this spring.
For four days they buzzed around, showing nothing but signs of contentment. But on the fifth day, I knelt down on the ground to peek up into the hive through the mesh bottom, expecting to see the a writhing mass of 12,000 bees huddled around their queen like I had all week. But on this day, their was nothing. A few dead bees on the floor and one lone, very slow moving worker bee ambling about the hive, confused about her new found legroom and what for her was probably a terrifying silence.
They had released the queen from her cage, and had even built two beginnings of comb, but something there did not suit them. We can only hope that they’ve found a nice tree cavity somewhere near by and that they will still come and visit our garden this summer to do some pollinating. That would take a little bit of the sting out of seeing $120 vanish into the ether.