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Signs of Spring

There is only so much you can write about stinky shoes, so our mission is to get you excited about getting your shoes wet and stinky while enjoying the outdoors. Nature has a soothing quality that helps you be confident about who you are.

This past weekend I was taking my dogs for an afternoon walk. I live in the mountains outside the little town of Nederland and my house is just a stones throw away from National Forest. It was a warm spring like day with bright blue skies and you could hear the snow melting all around. As I was walking back to the house on the snow-packed road, I noticed a honey bee on the ground. Ready for flight, but frozen in time.

The apiary housing honey bees

I bent down and gently touched its wing…no response. As I got back up, I noticed several more similar black spots all along the road, some that had been squished by passing cars. These were bees from my neighbor’s apiary that was just 20 feet off the road. I thought this would be a great opportunity for a fun photo, so I gathered about 20 or so and place them in my cupped left hand with my right hand on top to keep the wind from blowing them away.

As I returned home, I felt a tingly sensation in my hand. When I uncovered the posse, I saw they were coming back to life. Luckily I am a big fan of bees and knew they would not sting me, so I put as many as I could on the porch railing swathed by the sunlight. I continued watching them as they woke. As soon as a bee got its’ bearings back, they would move to the next closest bee and touch them on the head and shoulders. They stayed huddled for a few minutes in my hand, buzzing as they warmed.

Of the twenty, eighteen survived and flew away, hopefully back to their hive. I spoke with a local beekeeper about this event, and he said they were all female worker bees who where most likely out on a mission to relieve themselves and that the temperature must have changed rapidly which caused them to land and freeze in place. He said I saved their lives, which made me feel really happy.

I hope this summer they come back to visit me and the flowers I will have planted for them.

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