When winter comes I feel a sadness, because I miss the birds that fly south. And I miss my Bees. I get so used to sitting with them and watching their hustling and bustling. I remember when I heated my log cabin with a wood stove. Every spring when the fire went out it was like a Spirit left my home. It is kind of like that for me in the winter. The Spirit of the Bees and the Birds is missing. So I am anxious when spring comes to see my old Friends again. But I also hold my breath. Winter is not always gentle with the Bees.
It is never easy when a hive doesn't make it until spring. You pray for them, you go out and talk to them through the wooden sides of their hive, you sing to them, you do everything but jump inside with them.
It doesn't matter.
All four of my Bee hives are dead. I am in that stunned stage of grief. Not quite understanding that they are gone. But seeing the thousands of bodies laying on the bottom of the hives verifies it. I know that two hives had too much moisture and the condensation likely killed them I don't know about the other two. I just don't have it in me to look closely yet. I have to focus on processing the honey that I removed from one of them, take care of the wax. All the work they did over the summer, collecting nectar, making comb, flying in and out with their pollen sacs full of sunny yellow and bright orange pollen. All that effort to prepare for the long winter. And they didn't make it.
It was the first real taste of spring today. I was watching for them to be flying about with the warm sunshine heating up their hives. I could tell something wasn't right. It was too silent.
I gaze into the pile of Bee bodies with a tear in my eye. "Thank you girls", I whisper. It will be a lonely spring in our backyard.