I went with my son Tristan and his wife Christine this weekend to pick up a hive of young bees to place near our garden. We got the bees from master beekeeper Wally Swaim (seen below) of Level Cross, just south of Greensboro. Wally keeps hives, sells bee equipment and gathers wild bee swarms from trees and buildings. If you have a bee problem, he is the man to call. Bees in our area have suffered lately, and it’s not exactly clear as to why. It may be disease or parasites or even a genetic problem, but the bee population has dropped, which is not good for the pollination of fruits and vegetables. Tristan is hoping he can help, and maybe take a little honey as well.

Wally checks the health of a hive above, sans veil and only with the protection of a little smoke.

(photographs copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)

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