In the November 28, 2013 edition of The Washington Post, journalist Adrian Higgins wrote a great piece about honeybees, which he titled "Visions of Honeybees Dance in My Head". I would post a link, but the Washington Post now requires a subscription for online viewing. So here are a few excerpts:
Honeybees always seem urgent, but their industriousness comes with an extra edge at this time of year. They are driven to get themselves through the winter. [S]ome will make it, but many will not.
Honeybees have been around for a while, even if they came to North America with the early European settlers, so you might think they have this overwintering thing down pat. Not so. We live in tough times for honeybees and their human stewards - this wonderful insect is afflicted as never before with a stew of pests and diseases that have brought on a malaise.
Higgins goes on to discuss the challenges of nursing a colony of bees through the winter. He also notes that beekeepers are now coming to believe that breeding and using local queens, rather that using queens bred out of state, is a better option. Higgins sums up his thoughts with:
Thus, the dance between the bee and beekeeper is both fluid and fraught. The more I see other beekeepers, the more I sense that this art cannot be learned wholly as much as experienced.
Thank you, Mr. Higgins.
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