The Bees of Midgard
Picture of skep and bees

From the strong honey bee races of Italian, (Apis mellifera ligustica), and Carniolan, (Apis mellifera caucasica) and through prolonged natural selection the Midgard bee, (Apis mellifera hybridum) was acquired.

A large colony of bees collects around the one fertile female commonly referred to as the Queen.  She lays thousands of eggs each day that are fed and cared for by her daughters, when they hatch.  The Queen is constantly tended to, fed and groomed by her attendants.  As the young bees mature they leave the hive and forage for nectar and pollen.

The larger the colony, and the more numerous the population of bees, the greater the harvest of honey from which we craft our mead.

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Picture of skep and bees

The working life of the Midgard Beekeeper begins in early spring.  He puts away his Meade mug, books and papers and sets out on a warm, sunny morning to inspect the colonies of bees that endured the hardships of winter.

As the dew dries in the bright sunshine, the Midgard Beekeeper gently opens the over-wintered hives to remove the dead and instil life in the survivors.  He looks for the new blossoms of spring, and finding none provides the small colonies with sustenance.

As spring turns into summer, the days become warmer and longer, and the bees of Midgard grow rapidly, both in size and numbers.  Fields of wildflowers bloom heavily, and the air pulses with the steady hum of worker bees foraging.

Picture of woman collecting honey

The Beekeeper of Midgard tends to his hives; he provides the colonies with extra frames of comb, and extra space to house it.  He keeps a wary eye out for the signs of the new Queens, lest the reigning abscond with many in trail and without notice.  As day ends he might sip some of last summer’s mead to replenish the sweat of his brow.

Picture of skep and bees

When the summer solstice is well past, the Beekeeper’s work now turns to the first harvests of honey.  Heavy with honey, the apiaries odorous with the pungent scent of ripening goldenrod, he admires the great work the Midgard bees have accomplished in so short a time.  Colonies eighty thousand strong cause the air to vibrate with their winged wanderings.  The sky is seeded with the heavy-winged buzz of drones seeking virgin queens.  The Beekeeper of Midgard is satisfied with his new, young colonies and their Queens, and the fresh honey sweet on his lips.

Picture of Bee Box Hives and Skeps

As the air becomes crisp and the leaves of the great and magnificent trees manifest their orange and yellow cloaks, the bees of Midgard become possessive of their hard earned bounty.  The Beekeeper of Midgard risks their sharp stings as he takes his share.  The work is heavy on his old back as he wheels the precious treasure to his shelter.  Well into the night he toils to separate the harvest of golden honey from its wax, while his dreams fill with warm nights next to the fire, meade in hand.

Then, as the trees turn barren and the fields fade, the Midgard Beekeeper gives back to the hungry bees of Midgard a portion of their hard won harvest so that they may slumber well through the long, cold night of winter.

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