My friend Steve Boyden keeps bees behind his home in Wilmington. After I raved about his Christmas gift of Boyden's Bees Honey, he suggested I come visit the bees in the spring. The opportunity came when Steve decided to start a third hive and needed to introduce a new queen bee. So on a recent chilly morning I arrived at the hives and suited up in Steve's beekeeper gear, ready to help with the bees and their new queen.
What an amazing sight! Thousands of bees, all working to gather pollen and build the hive. The sound was just as thrilling, a loud, droning hum of SO MANY bees!
I had every intention of sketching as Steve worked, but I was too engrossed in the process. I did a few sketches from photos when I got home.
I'm not sure I am ready to start my own hives yet (though "Bishop's Bees" has a nice ring to it) I will do my part by planting lots of flowers along our kitchen garden. Stay tuned for more sketches of flowers, butterflies and bees!
Curious about bees???
Here are two good videos to see what it's like. The first one is a charming chat with two English beekeepers checking on the queen in a hive. (The Guardian, Beekeeping: why we love bees, 5:06 minutes)
The second one is a fascinating interview with a bee "trucker" who hauls hundreds of hives all over the country to pollinate fruit trees. (PBS America Revealed: Flight of the Honey Bee, 2:15 minutes)