The Providence Zen Center recently purchased two Honeybee packages from a local bee keeper. Bee packages are 30 pounds of bees and a queen which were installed in hives from Nancy Hedgpeth’s apiary. The hives are located in the far end of the orchard, near the stone wall and away from human traffic. The Center provides an ideal environment for bees with fruit trees, a vegetable and flower garden, water and lots of land on which to forage. The Center’s primary intention is pollination of the orchard and garden and also to help support bees which have become threatened due to loss of habitat and the use of pesticides. Bees are highly sensitive to pesticides and could be viewed as the canaries in the mines. Any honey that is harvested in the Fall is secondary, but also welcome. I wore a recently-purchased bee suit to install the bees which had a complicated way of attaching the veil to the suit. I finally gave up in frustration and just let the veil hang loosely. However, a bee found its way under the veil and began buzzing around my face. I made an undignified exit by sprinting across the orchard, flinging the hat and veil into the wind and smacking at the air. Fortunately no one was around with a video camera to capture this unskilled moment. The bee survived.
-Diana Starr Daniels, PZC Resident