Watching the hive from the second-floor window, Murphy spots field bees coming in. "Their job is to go out and collect food," he explains. "They will transfer the nectar to a worker bee inside the hive, and that bee will carry it or transfer it on and on until it goes to the correct honeycomb--whatever they decide is the best one...Sooner or later it will ripen into honey."
Some might find working with insects with stingers stressful, but not Murphy. "It's very calming work," he says. "You'd be surprised."
Unlike chickens, Ann Arborites don't need a permit to keep bees, though a city ordinance does set a limit of two hives per property. By the end of summer, Hodesh should have honey to harvest and something like 60,000 bees in his hive.
For Murphy, it's a mission. For Hodesh, "it's Retailing 301. Maybe 401.