Jill holding a frame—OR—beekeeping is emotionally taxing

Above, Jill holds up a frame from one of our hives.

We ran up into spring this year with somewhat renewed gusto for beekeeping (after last year's defeat learning experience, we were a bit overwhelmed with sanger*) and took on four hives and doled out high fives left and right (mostly to each other). As I may have mentioned, we bought two new hives and had two of my later grandfathers'. This last weekend we dropped by the hive for our almost-weekly check in and found that the hive that started the season as the strongest had been robbed out and had only a few hundred bees left, trying to pick up the pieces. We really thought we'd been doing everything at least sort of right this time, only to find that there may not be any such thing. The good news is the new hives are doing alright and the other established hive is doing very well. We incorporated the remaining bees into one of the new hives and will press on. I didn't really expect to feel as strongly about them as I do, but after my reaction when we got a dog, I don't know how I'm surprised.

*sanger is a delightfully awful mix of sadness and anger.