Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

This summer, what a bummer

Cold spring, summer rain

Not to the bees liking.

Busy multiplying, but eating the honey they’re supplying.

Not leaving us any!  What a pain!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea


We headed out to our hives today, hoping to harvest some honey to bottle and sell at the upcoming HoneyFest next weekend.  A month ago, one of our thriving hives had at least 6 frames of uncapped honey, so we were hoping to have a super of honey.  Our HIve and Honey BEEpothecary partners, the Dotsons, headed out to their hives at the same time and we planned to get together this afternoon to process our honey together.

But, it was not to be – or BEE? – not for the Saums or the Dotsons.  In our 2 thriving older hives, we found boxes full of drawn comb, much of it empty.  We also found tons of bees and brood, some pollen and a little bit of capped honey on a few frames around the brood.  But NO full frames of honey.  They evidently have eaten it as fast as they are making it!

In our 4 smaller new hives, one was completely empty – not even bees.  The other three had lots of bees and bIMG_1456rood, and a little pollen, but NO HONEY!  We were shocked and disappointed.   We called the Dotsons, and learned that they had found the same thing.   By this time last year, we had pulled a full super of honey or more off of hives twice, and got a third batch in the fall.

Later today, a first year beekeeper from down the street,next door to our son, called.  He asked if he could come down with some pictures from his new hive, to see if we thought he had a problem.  The pictures on his tablet computer, looked just like our hives!  Lots of bees and brood, some pollen, and that’s it!  He felt reassured that he had company in his misery, and that  we did not think he had a big problem.

I posted our results on the local beekeepers’ association Facebook page, and found that many others in our area are experiencing the same.  Guess it’s just the whimsy of the weather and the bees and we have no control!  The spring was cold and damp.  The spring bloom happened late, all at once.  Then we had four weeks of daily rain in June and July, followed by unseasonable cool weather in August.  Guess this all was not to the bees liking or need!

As of tomorrow, we will start feeding our bees sugar syrup and hope that this and a good bloom of goldenrod this September will help the bees make enough honey to get them through the winter!  And we are glad that we have other things to sell at the HoneyFest than honey!  I hope other beekeepers have honey to sell.   Might be kind of a weird HoneyFest if there is no honey available this year!


Jeremiah 17

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,   whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water  that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought  and never fails to bear fruit.”