Every visit to the hive is a bit like opening a gift that I’m a little wary of. Not because I’m afraid of the bees, but because I’m afraid for them. After last year’s disappointments, we’re just never sure what we’re going to see.
Each time, we approach the hive with quiet excitement tinged with a dab of worry: what if they’ve swarmed? What if we see no eggs? What if they’re all just… gone?
We smoke the entrance, happy to see commuters coming and going. The incoming foragers weighed down with bright orange luggage is a good sign.
And then we lift the hive lid optimistically…
And there they are, nearly oblivious to us, making a great buzz, tending their community, raising their young, filling their cupboards with precious orange and yellow pollen, and putting up the white-capped honey for winter.
Because today is August, full, hot and droopy with summer, but they know what the ragweed bloom tells them, what the sun’s angle tells them, what the night-time crickets tell them.
Still right now in this heat, sweat dripping off our brows, gloves, camera and all sticky with propolis, the thick buzzing all around us, summer is not going anywhere, not for the moment.
Hours later, I’m writing this. A Sunday night and the dark is coming on. A wise friend recently said that August is the Sunday night of summer. It’s okay. There’s still a little bit of time to stash away some honey. And the earlier dusk? Well, then, we’ll just have to go out and watch the stars until we get sleepy.