Viewfinder: Busy as a Bee

Marc Harpin prepares his backyard beehive for winter

"I find them really interesting to watch," says Marc Harpin who has a beehive in the backyard of his Brookline home. Harpin says he and his husband set up their hive in the spring of 2010 after taking a class run by .

Although they have not yet harvested any honey from the hive Harpin says he has so far enjoyed simply watching the bees go through the seasons. In the summer the population booms and in the winter it falls back down again. "Kind of like a big clock," he says.

Harpin says they expect to harvest 1-2 pounds of honey from their hive this year, and that a healthy hive can yield as much as 30 or more pounds of honey. The breed of bees in Harpin's hive are Russians, which tend to be more disease resistant but also tend to produce less honey. However, as fist time beekeepers, Harpin says he thinks this was a good choice for them because they are less likely to lose the whole hive.

James LaFond-Lewis September 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM
Great photos. Thanks for the look inside a hive. I hope you follow this hive next year. I had a hive of Italian bees that I kept in Brighton...they became victims of disease, not resistant like Harpin's Russians, and ultimately the few healthy bees maybe 5-10,000, (a healthy hive has at least 20,000) followed their queen in a mass exodus out of the hive when they were attacked by a plundering mob from another hive. Beekeeping is dramatic!


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