Woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning yesterday which turned into a nightmare in a matter of minutes. As I walked out back to check our garden, hops and beehive, I noticed the reassuring hum from the hive was quiet and none of the girls had made it out of the hive, yet it was early morning and bees are known for sleeping in (can't blame them). As I approached the hive closer, it was eerily quiet and no sign of life. I quickly opened the hive and my heart immediately sank as I stared down into an empty, lifeless hive.
My father was a hobby beekeeper back in the 80s. My wife and I have been talking for a while now about starting a hive, mainly to help pollinate our large garden, as well as the hopes of making some great mead in the years to come. We spent early spring preparing a spot and hive and gathering all the necessities. The day came when we got our girls; it felt like we had a new member of the family. We even named our queen, Queen Vernadette Greenleaf. It was amazing each day going and sitting next to the hive and watching the little creatures. If you have never been around a hive, you are missing out on a beautiful thing. Their dances to each other to share food locations, the sweet smell from the hive, having one of the girls land on your hand and just stare up at you, it is truly an honor to be a part of their lives. Honeybees are very tame and gentle. Although they had a few setbacks throughout the summer, they were building a good colony to make it thru the winter. Then yesterday happened.
Will we give up? No. Although we are still fighting back tears of sadness from losing a family member, we are talking plans of establishing a new colony, or possibly two, next spring. I just want to let you guys know that CCD is a real problem we are facing. Without honeybees, there will be no mead. I want to encourage all of you to look into this devastating issue. There is much literature out there, along with some great documentaries which can be streamed online. We all love our mead, let us not forget who is really behind that sip of mead, the bees. Thank you for your time and good luck to all the other beekeepers out there fighting to keep these beautiful creatures thriving.