Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Honey Tree (The Orchard)

Honey Bee Tree  17

I finished reading a book yesterday — The Orchard: A Memoir. Adele Crockett Robertson wrote about the three years she farmed the family apple orchard in eastern Massachusetts during the Depression. It is a wonderful book — quiet, sad, and very New England. Robertson devotes a lot of pages to bees because bees are vitally important for growing apples. I find myself continually thinking about Robertson since I have finished the book.

On the left is a honey tree in Sutton, New Hampshire, that I photographed this past summer. This is a tall white pine tree. You can see the hive on the left side of the tree at a fair distance off the ground. With my long 250mm lens I was able to get some decent shots. If I weren’t allergic to bee stings, I would’ve tried harder for better close ups!

 

Honey Bee Tree  28

In the photo above, I am a bit closer. I could hear the buzzing of the thousands of bees. It was a calm buzzing, as if they were very busy and not alarmed. Below I have a cropped photo of the entrance to the hive. You can see the bees going in with pollen and you can see the worker bees working around the entrance to the hive.

Honey Bee Tree  6

Below, I tried a closer crop in order to see as much detail as possible. I think, but I may be wrong, that I see other dead insects that the worker bees are dealing with.

Honey Bee Tree  2

I not only think about Robertson frequently the past few days — I also wonder about how this hive is doing now that winter is coming. Have all of the worker bees died as Robertson describes? Will the weather turn so cold for so long that the remaining bees won’t be able to get out and relieve themselves and, therefore, survive?

You can read Robertson’s bee stories by clicking on the link here: http://www.amazon.com/Orc... When the page is loaded, search inside the book for “that first year.” You will then see a link for page 28. Click on that link and read the next two chapters. Then buy the book. If you buy it by clicking on the ad below, I get very small commission. I only recommend those books that I feel are worth reading. Think of my photographs when you read the chapters about bees. Wonder, like me, about how they are doing this winter.

flickr-badge-60 My Honey Tree Set on Flickr

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