Bees are Back!

This winter we had a short week or so of extremely cold weather. My bees had been periodically out in the month before we suddenly plummeted down to zero and below, but I didn’t see them again after.

So on a warmish day I sighed, gathered my sadness into a small ball, and went out to look in the horizontal hive, hoping I was wrong.

But I wasn’t.

No winter cluster, keeping warm down in the center of the hive.

I didn’t have the heart to clean out the hive; I just shut the top and decided to take care of it later.

Which I didn’t do.

Because I didn’t want to think about it.

Everybody loses bees, everybody. It’s part of the deal if you are a beetender (or even just a happy bee friend, like I am now). And of course, it’s much, much more common in recent decades, as bees struggle to survive amid heavy pesticides, toxins, and other troubles.

So I pretended I would do something about it. Eventually.

I halfheartedly watched in March, as random bees came to investigate my hive. I knew it would be robbed of the rest of its winter honey by neighboring colonies, and I wasn’t surprised to see them coming and going.

bee hive spring 2024
bee hive spring 2024

Except that over the next few weeks, there was a lot of coming and going. And it seemed more organized than I was expecting. Bees were coming in with pollen. Everybody I saw around the hive seemed to belong, and they were all intent on their jobs, displaying the hard-working honey bee ethic I’m so familar with.

And now I’m 100% sure of it: a new colony has moved in!

It’s 8:15 pm, and I’m sitting with my laptop writing this in front of the open window in my bedroom, and I can still hear them hard at work, finishing up for the day, even though the crickets have already taken up the night chorus.

I still need to go into the hive this week and see if there’s anything I can do to help, see if they need frames or a mouse nest cleared out, but…

I’m a bee neighbor again. Yay bees.

4 comments on “Bees are Back!

  1. Louise S.

    I love this! And we have more happy bees on our flowers and flowering shrubs than I’ve seen in years. This makes me happy!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe

      Wonderful! If you had told me 20 years ago that I would be this attached to bees, I would have called you crazy. But I absolutely love them, and have enjoyed learing how to be a good bee keeper and bee neighbor over the past decade.

  2. So glad for you! We lost our three hives in 2020, and had been a strong colony for 9 years. I hate not having bees, but they are too expensive now for us to dive in again.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe

      They really *are* expensive. I had no idea, when I got into it. Which is why I’m pleased that our hive drew a swarm, and I didn’t have to do a single thing. Although I have good beekeeping neighbors and one had already offered to get me a split for our hive if I’d asked. And truthfully, one hive is so much easier to deal with than the 10 or 12 we used to have…

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