Tuesday, January 11, 2011


 A few months ago, this honeybee visited me just as I was getting out of my car. I stayed very still for several minutes, basking in gratitude for the unexpected visit and taking a moment to study her body.

I thought she would fly away when I started to move, but she stayed with me as I carried the baby I nanny out of his carseat and up the stairs, careful to make sure his feet stayed far away from my little passenger. Finally, for her safety as well as the baby's, I took her outside and deposited her on a bush. I wonder now if she was in her last moments of life, clinging to my skirt for its light color.

I have toyed with the idea of bringing a hive up to my balcony to live with me. I have the perfect sun exposure for them, not to mention a safe place high above the eyes and heads of neighbors. The only potential problem is space. Not in terms of square footage -- I would easily and gladly sacrifice some of my balcony's footprint for a honey hive! -- but in distance between potential hive and garden. I haven't been able to find a solid answer, but my internet research has led me to believe that bees need several yards between their hives and human activity. Would erecting some sort of barrier between the back of the hive and my gardening space do the trick?

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