Honey Extracted from Hives at Turtle Rock Farm

The honey harvest in August
brought in five gallons of golden honey.
It is the best honey in the world.
I’m not bragging;
it simply is.

Eating the delicious honey
and knowing that bees are struggling,
entire colonies disappearing,
and that we need them
to pollinate much of our food,
I’ve noticed
that I’ve come to feel great affection
for these little golden creatures.
Now that the hummingbirds
have gone south
and the flowering plants have almost finished,
the honeybees have come to drink
the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder.
When I saw them
I made a fresh batch of sugar water for them
and am glad they are feeding here.
They seem so vulnerable.
I feel protective of them.

Ann, our merry beekeeper,
who will diligently provide sugar boards for them
if they need them in their hives
all winter,
tells me that in its lifetime
a bee makes 1/10 of a teaspoon
of honey.
Theirs is important work in our ecosystem
(as is everyone’s
really.)
Despite the environmental threat
to their existence,
their daily challenges,
they mash on
and contribute all they can
doing their part in colony life
and in the wider community,
pollinating fruits and vegetables.

I can take heart from the honeybee.
They do what they are here to do
in spite of the challenges,
their diminishing numbers.
And though we only see the fruits
of their considerable labor –
that 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey –
what they bring to the world,
the work we don’t see,
or pay attention to
or appreciate
is so much more.
No doubt,
we need to pay more attention
to all the honeybees bring to the ecosystem.
And no doubt
on those days when we feel like
we’re not contributing enough,
when we’re paralyzed
by daunting environmental,
economic,
social challenges,
we might take heart
from the honeybee
and each do what we can anyway:
get about our life’s work,
make our 1/10 of a teaspoon
of exquisite
honey.