Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Wednesday May 24, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

John Piette and Joanne Kimata

 

continued

Once the queen has been relocated to the queenless hive, the day's work is done. When it is time to collect the honey, Kimata and Piette take the frames to a local man who removes the honey from the combs with a machine that operates by centrifugal force. Last year they produced about 900 pounds, selling it mostly by word of mouth. Their sales brought in several hundred dollars, which they donated to organizations doing humanitarian work in Vietnam. This year they are thinking of donating to a local charity, yet to be determined.

So far they haven't been affected by Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious disappearance of worker bee populations nationally over the last few years. Piette says the unexplained phenomenon could have several causes, including a mite that is infesting the bees, but no one has concrete answers. "It's kind of shocking to me that they haven't figured it out yet," he says.

Piette and Kimata spend every spring weekend tending the bees, but things slow down in the summer as the bees tend themselves. In the fall, maintenance chores add a few more hours on the weekends. The volunteers, mostly environmentalist couples and midlife women who are into gardening, help tend the hives and harvest the honey.

"The bees are really smart," Piette says, "very sensual and aesthetic. The queen knows this time of year to start laying fewer eggs because winter is coming; there are more mouths to feed. Then in the deepest darkest winter she knows it's time to start laying more eggs to get ready for the spring, when everything is in bloom."

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Elizabeth Kostova
Falling off the bridge
Keith Taylor
Brew & Chew
A wine store reinvented at Plymouth Mall
Patti Smith
Arts and Crafts
To Sell or Not to Sell?
It's decision time for the Library Lot.
James Leonard
Social Services and Support Groups
Today's Events
Bringing Back Barley
Saline entrepreneurs boost local brewing.
M.A. Engle
Talking Literature
At local book clubs, "some of our best discussions are about books we don't like."
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Tides of Change
Living history on Water Hill
Dale DeVoss
Arbor Hospice Palliative Care
Volik championship May 22 to 28
spark ann arbor