Autumnal Musings

Autumn has definitely come to Hooterville, complete with an explosion of aster and the first hesitant dropping of maple, birch and chestnut leaves.
It puts one in a reflective state of mind. As pretty as it is this time of year, I'm always sorry to see summer end. Yes, it's 90 degrees today, but it's still autumn! I know it, and the bees surely know it.
They're working hard gathering nectar and pollen off the aster, jewelweed, and goldenrod. These plants are providing the remaining nectar flow of the year—the last flow the bees have available to them before winter restricts them to a long period of waiting in the hive. It's truly a race against time, against the hard frost that will nail the remaining flowers and end the flow entirely, forcing the bees to survive the winter on whatever they have stored up until that point.

This girl's pollen baskets are packed, and she's entering the hive to store what she's collected. Then she'll go right back out again and collect some more.
I did a "hive dive" (inspection) of Rebel Rebel the other day. Things were looking pretty crowded in there and I wanted to see what was up (especially because—did I forget to mention it?—Hive Orange swarmed last weekend, just in time for my mother's visit!). During the visit to the hive, a little honey dripped from my hive tool and these bees were quick to gather it up. I love how pretty they look when they do that! Like girls at a soda fountain in an Archie comic book.

One curious bee decided to check out my record-keeping notebook. There's always so much to see and do in the hive that I have to write everything down right then and there to keep track. The record-keeping helps me follow the many changes that occur in each hive from week to week, as well as my own actions and the results of those. There is so, so much to learn. I hope my brain is big and wrinkled and grey-mattered enough to handle it all.

The notebook comes from a great letterpress printing studio called Foxglove Press.

No comments: