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Honey Bees

This category contains 64 posts

Of poop and petals

First the petals… Our garden is filled, front to back and side to side, with snow drops this time of year, starting in February. February 2 if this old rhyme is anything to go by- The Snowdrop, in purest white array First rears her head on Candlemas. Candlemas is the celebration of Christ’s presentation to … Continue reading

Counting Blessings (2): hogs, hawks, and bees

We’ve had many blessings in the garden this year, and have learned of many more in the world at large. Firstly, closer to home: Hedgehogs We began with one, but numbers on any one evening reached five and of all different sizes. Some were bolder, not ready to relinquish the food even at our approach. … Continue reading

Closing up shop

  Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer. –  Plutarch, Moralia A little late with this post about closing … Continue reading

If there had been tumbleweeds…

…I wouldn’t have been surprised. I’m talking about our latest bee inspection. There were high points (our first ‘considerable’ honey grab) and low points (the tumbleweeds). But there were a few gifts as well… Bee inspection: First Hive This bee inspection took place during the first half of July. We had admittedly left some time between … Continue reading

Having a cake and eating it, too

May news, dreadfully behind on posting as usual… Now you see them, now you don’t Well, not exactly. Their way of telling me in early April that it’s time to remove the barriers and welcome in spring. This is the shredded remains of what I had wrapped the fondant from March in. Unlike the hive … Continue reading

Is she or isn’t she?

  You see, all this time I have been thinking my girl Cheryl (yes, she’s still hanging around our place) is a common garden spider who had wandered a bit far from the garden admittedly.  She’s been with us since November, the time when the females make their presence felt by preventing you from walking … Continue reading

deos tauri, mulieres in aranearum,in lupos hominum mutationem

A reference to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Roman poet’s history of the world. But the quote is not from that work, not originally Latin: gods into bulls, women into spiders, men into wolves. It is from Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, harking back to Ovid’s retelling of history through stories of transformation (bad Latin translation is down to me). What I am … Continue reading

October is Nature’s Funeral Month

…Nature glories in death more than life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May. Every green thing loves to die in bright colors. -Henry Ward Beecher  Proverbs from the Plymouth Pulpit *** The weather of late around here is the very essence of funereal: grey, cold, with … Continue reading

Remember to notify your bees when you’re dead…..

Bees are regarded with respect,and the general custom of telling them of a death in the family of their owner is not yet extinct; it is believed in the Golden Valley that they would leave their hives if not told. There was a large apiary at the Moor, near Hay, and when the owner died, … Continue reading

We suffer more often in apprehension than in reality….

Seneca,  the Roman Stoic philosopher, must have known something of the lot of the beekeeper: Plura sunt quae nos terrent quam quae premunt, et saepius opinione quam re laboramus. What a relief! We go through this every apres-swarming season: worry then relief. They never let us down, always demonstrating their resilience.  Ain’t nature grand? Of course, … Continue reading

My Latin Notebook

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