Too many bees in a hive on a hot and humid summer day would mean a lot of energy wasted in fanning to try to keep things cool.
Instead, bees ‘beard’, sitting outside the entrance in large clumps. This year our grapevine grew in front of and above their entrance, and the bees seem to be enjoying the shade its giant leaves provide.
You might think we would learn from their behavior, but no. We spent this hot weekend in the kitchen, standing over boiling pots and even turning on the oven for some baking, a single fan moving the heat around but not providing much relief. I know when I pop a jar of preserves in the winter my memory of that heat will be tinged with longing for these long summer days, so I’m doing my best to enjoy every sticky moment.