Here we are, one week in. In some ways it doesn’t feel like a lockdown, in otherways, it really does.
Classes resumed after their autumn break meaning I had to get used to yet another video-conference app because classes resumed remotely. Up to this point I’d done ZOOM and Microsoft Teams, but this week it was Cisco Webex. Honestly… enough new technology already! 🙂
Let’s get to something a little less hair-raising…
In the case of mixed-flower honey, the bees spend an entire season making it. In a Warré hive – the hive that I use – each box can hold 12-14kg (26-30lbs) of honey and, in my experience, if conditions are right, they can fill upwards of 2 boxes per season.
They only need 1 box to make it through a French winter (much shorter & much milder than Canadian winters), meaning that so long as I leave them a box, I can take the rest for our enjoyment at home.
I said we could get 2 boxes if conditions were right… but that’s not always the case. Here are some things that could go wrong:
– A season that’s too rainy (they can’t get out to forage)
– A season that’s too hot & dry (flowers don’t produce sufficient nectar)
– The colony swarms (1/2 the colony leaves, taking honey with them)
– Varroa mites weaken the colony (introducing sickness – potentially deadly)
– Asian hornets slowly kill a colony (they feed honey bees to their young)
– Nearby pesticide use can kill a colony (like consuming heavy metals)
I began the season with 4 hives, (three of which were new colonies from last summer – this was their first full foraging season), yet I only felt comfortable taking honey from one of them. The three others would need their stores for winter.
Life in France…
In some ways, that seems like a fitting narrative for our time in France, and certainly this particular season while in Lockdown.
Just like I continue to do regular tasks around the apiary – periodic checks, regular maintenance, etc. – so we continue to do the day to day things that we can do… in hopes that they will bear fruit.
Do they always? No.
Do we continue to have hope? Yes.
Are some days easier than others? Yes, again.
Ultimately though, our feelings, based on the outcomes that we see with our natural eyes, are not the final judge of reality. We know what the Lord says in His word.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord..”
1 Corinthians 15.58
During this time of widespread troubles in our world,
“be steadfast & immovable, trust in the Lord”
As always, let what you read inform your prayers for us & for France.
God bless you!