These are images of dead bees (if you have an abundance of bee butts and little honey in your hive, your hive has starved)
After being introduced to the honeybees in 2007 I knew that I was in love! I decided to take a year of my life and get into as many hives as I could with as many natural beekeepers as I could meet so that I would really get a feel for what beekeeping was all about.
In the spring of 2008 I packed up my things and left BC for New Paltz, NY to apprentice with Chris Harp. I met Chris in the fall of '07 at a beekeeping class at The Pfieffer Center. While I knew that there was another way to keep bees (as I had read Steiner's lectures on Bees and felt that there were many aspects of nature that most beekeepers were not paying attention to) I had never met anyone who agreed with my inner knowing.
Upon arrival in the spring (there was still ice all over) we began our work getting called out to do numerous autopsies. What a great way to begin your year studying the LIFE of the bee! Witnessing it dead and/or dying. While I know that death is such a part of life, it was so hard for me to see so many dead bees. I mean, these are the ladies I had just fallen in love with!!
This Valentine's day I was reminded of those first autopsies that I had to do because I had to do one of my own for the first time. One of my hives in Lincoln Park had frozen to death. While there was about 40 pounds of honey, there were not enough bees to keep warm through the last cold snap. The pile of dead bees at the bottom of the hive was substantial and the bees clinging around the queen was small. They had all frozen to death.
Now while this is sad, I must admit. I was happy to take the top box full of honey (I left some honey for the other colonies in the area and put some in my TBH) for myself and my loved ones! This was my first year beekeeping at this spot and the flora made an abundant, delicious crop!
feeding a top bar hive with dripping honeycomb
feeding myself with some dripping honey!
the problem with NO foundation (notice the way the comb is going in 2 different directions!)