Despite the nightly freezing temperatures, the bees are still collecting pollen. From where? All the flowers outside are brown and shriveled, marking the end of summer. Yet, the warm days compell the bees out of their hive to find the last remains of summer pollen. They found it in our greenhouse.
At first I was quite amazed at their ability to discover the remaining flowers of the season: Basil. I could just taste the basil-sented honey over buttered toast.
The flame of awe was extinguished with the flame of death. The bees have immaculate skill at finding flowers, but finding their way back out of a greenhouse proved too difficult. How do they find their way? Why didn’t they just go out the way they come in? Why do they insist on bumping their head repeatedly against the wall of windows? Their actions remind me of moths that are directed by light. But if the whole greenhouse is lit up, why can’t they try another route?
I tried to coax them out, but many were left. Some with pollen on their legs, others bare-legged. I was affected by the death of the bees, with the same wave of sadness I felt when only three of our six ducks came home.
The farm is a constant cycle of life and death. I brought our goat Nacha to an Amish dairy goat farmer and had her bred to his Saanen billy. A four star billy, he said. If our “babies” (they’re not so little anymore!) are bred in December, we could increase our herd from 3 to 9 goats by the spring.